Robbery Suspect Injures Self, Escapes

Suspect found in cold outside Panera

By Megan McGrath
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 1:20 PM EDT
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Suspect Harms Self, Escapes From Hospital

Montgomery County Police

Jose Nathaniel Melton

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Suspect Harms Self, Escapes From Hospital

A robbery suspect, who escaped from police custody while being treated at Shady Grove Hospital after injuring himself, has been arrested.
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A robbery suspect, who escaped from police custody while being treated at Shady Grove Hospital after injuring himself, has been arrested.

Jose Nathaniel Melton, 23, of Gaithersburg, Md., allegedly robbed the Exxon station on Crabbs Branch Way just before 10 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Melton was arrested a short time later after he crashed his car while trying to flee the scene.

That's where things took a strange turn.

While being questioned at police headquarters, investigators said Melton intentionally banged his head on a table. He was then taken to Shady Grove Hospital for treatment. While at the hospital, police said Melton assaulted three officers and escaped wearing only medical scrubs, tennis shoes, and a set of handcuffs on one hand.

In the end, weather helped flush the suspect out of hiding. Melton was found about 3 1/2 hours later standing in front of the Panera Bread in the Falls Grove shopping center, just across the street from the hospital. Having been out in the cold for hours, a police spokesman said he was arrested without much resistance.

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