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Video: Mo. inmate steals pizza delivery car after escape from hospital

Workers at the pizza joint watched a man approach the car, but didn’t know it was escaped inmate Bruce Brutsman

By Denise Hollinshed
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An inmate who escaped from a St. Louis County correctional officer at a hospital Saturday later stole an Imo’s delivery car as part of his life on the lam.

Workers at the pizza joint, at 5806 South Hampton Avenue, watched a man on surveillance cameras approach the car, but didn’t know he was an escaped inmate who police said should be considered armed and dangerous. They ran outside after seeing the man get in the 1997 Toyota Tercel, which had been left running by delivery driver Scotty Ritchie, according to Robert Cartwright, manager of the Imo’s.

“I darted out and tried to get in the back door of the car to try to stop him,” Cartwright said. “Scotty tried to get in front of the car. It didn’t quite work. He almost hit him. I’m glad he didn’t.”

Surveillance video posted to Facebook by Cartwright shows a man, wearing a black T-shirt and orange shorts, eyeing the car. The camera doesn’t show him getting in, but does show Cartwright, 27, and Ritchie, 35, running out and the car speeding off.

Only later did they learn that police believe the car thief is Bruce Brutsman, who escaped from a corrections officer at a hospital earlier in the day.

“I saw someone trying to steal his car, I didn’t know it was an escaped convict,” Cartwright said. “My girlfriend and mom told me to never try that again.”

Brutsman was being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton on charges of burglary and other property crimes. About 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Brutsman was taken to a hospital after allegedly swallowing a battery, police said. While there, he escaped from a corrections officer and ran away.

The Imo’s delivery car was stolen about 11 a.m. Police would not say which hospital Brutsman escaped from, and it’s not clear how he got to the area of the Imo’s. He had been wearing blue hospital scrubs when he escaped. They don’t know how he got to the Imo’s.

Brutsman, 36, is described as white, about 6 feet 6 inches tall and about 240 pounds. He lives in the 4600 block of Weber Terrace Drive in the Affton area, according to police. They said they had no confirmation he had a weapon, but said to treat him as armed and dangerous out of an abundance of caution.

Authorities asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to call St. Louis County Police at 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477. CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to Brutsman’s arrest.


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