A driver crashed into the emergency response entrance of a Middletown hospital on Thursday morning, allegedly as a deliberate attack, causing severe damage to the hospital.

At approximately 10 a.m on Feb. 22, a man with a history of violence drove his car into the entrance of Middlesex Hospital, according to the Middletown Police Department. The police department identified the driver as Steven Ellam, a 27-year-old man who was sentenced to prison in 2014 for assault. After the initial crash, the vehicle burst into flames and the man proceeded to light himself on fire, Middletown police chief William McKenna said. Fox 61 reported that the car contained multiple cans of gasoline — a fact the police declined to confirm, citing a policy against commenting on the details of ongoing investigations.

The man’s motives remain unknown. The Middletown police had a warrant to search Ellam’s home Thursday morning, but the crash occurred before officers could conduct the search. His home was searched after the crash occurred, the MPD said.

Ellam was rushed to a nearby hospital for his burn injuries and a hospital security guard was hospitalized for smoke-inhalation, according to the police. The fire department responded to the blaze outside the hospital and no one besides the man and the security guard was harmed by the crash or the fire.

Christina Carrafiell | christina.carrafiell@yale.edu