Police seek armed man accused of taking patient at gunpoint

The Associated Press

MOUNT GRETNA, Pa. — Police searched Wednesday for a man they said threatened two nurses at gunpoint at a secure mental health care hospital then took off with his girlfriend, who was a patient.

Elliott Ravert, 18, demanded nurses unlock the housing unit where Alicia Buzzard, 21, was a patient and threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate, police said.

Police said they were not sure if Buzzard went willingly with Ravert, but they issued a missing-person alert for her and said she might be at risk of harm. She had been at the hospital for about a week and a half.

Philhaven, the mental and behavioral health care facility where the incident occurred, is located about 30 miles east of the state capital.

Buzzard’s sister, Tiffany Buzzard, told LNP newspaper that their mother had asked hospital officials to not allow Ravert to see his girlfriend.

An arrest warrant was issued charging him with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and robbery. Police said he took a two-way radio from the hospital.

Buzzard has bipolar disorder and has known Ravert for about three months, his sister said. She lives in Myerstown, about a half hour from the hospital, with her mother and stepfather.

“My mom and stepdad separated her and Elliott because they were starting to get physical and trying to have babies,” Tiffany Buzzard told LNP. “She stopped taking her medicine and threatened to kill herself.”

Ravert drives a green 2004 Chevy Avalanche with Pennsylvania license plate ZGY-3594, but police said late Wednesday he may have changed plates. Authorities said they did not know where Ravert might be headed.