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I wouldn't patch, especially if it's near the sidewall...I had a patch go out (As seen in the picture) on my Dodge Stratus going 68 on the freeway and almost killed myself...I almost lost control, and had to go across 2 lanes to stop the car, nearly hitting another car that luckily was paying attention.
Sounds like someone did a bad patch job. A patch installed on the inside of a tire properly would not have a catastrophic failure unless it was improperly done. And it is common knowledge to not patch any tire with a hole closer than 1" from the side wall.

Now a push-in plug I wouldn't trust on a bike tire...
 
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