Man steals, crashes hearse with body inside

A funeral home director said an escaped patient stole a transport vehicle from outside Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta on Sunday.

Willie Watkins said the driver had just finished loading a body into the vehicle, and the man who stole it witnessed this happening. Watkins said the suspect did not have a weapon, but he forcefully stole the keys from the driver.

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Watkins said the suspect damaged the hood of the transport vehicle while breaking out of the locked parking lot at the morgue.

Police said the man later ditched the vehicle on Auburn Avenue and stole a second SUV by pulling the driver out from behind the wheel.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, was located and arrested by Sunday afternoon.

“When you think about it. Even the dead cannot rest in peace,” said Watkins.

Willie’s brother, Darryl Watkins, spoke to the driver and described how he reacted.

“He was in shock and awe, like what’s going on? You know what I mean? He thought the guy was just standing there,” said Watkins, “I understand this guy was already being looked for at Grady Hospital. He might have been a mental patient. We really don’t know.”

Watkins said it was tough breaking the news to the deceased man’s family that the body of their loved one was stolen.

“Well, they were very upset until we explained to them what happened,” said Watkins.

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