Man douses himself in gas, makes demands at Anoka-Metro treatment center

A man carrying a lighter doused himself with gasoline and made demands in the lobby of Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center on Friday morning.

He was asking for better housing and social service care, according to Anoka city police.

A doctor at the psychiatric hospital managed to talk the 36-year-old into leaving the building, where police could take over, said Police Capt. Scott Nolan.

"He had asked for some water and we got him some water. Once he kind of dropped his guard, one of our sergeants was able to get in and get a hold of the hand that had the lighter in it and then several others of us rushed in also to help place the guy on the ground and put him in handcuffs," Nolan said.

Nolan says no one was hurt. Police would not identify the man, who was taken to Mercy Hospital.

Friday's incident comes as workers at Anoka-Metro are petitioning lawmakers to make their workplace safer.

Gov. Mark Dayton has called for $177 million in spending this legislative session to improve safety at the state's mental health facilities, which include Anoka-Metro and the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minn.

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