Angry patient steals Houston ambulance, crashes it into overpass

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by TIMOTHY WETZEL

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 22 at 9:25 AM

HOUSTON -- Police arrested a man accused of stealing a Houston Fire Department ambulance Monday and crashing it into an overpass.

“He just got in and took off,” said HFD District Chief James Watson. “He was driving very erratically, jumping medians and trying to get on the freeway.”

The suspect flat out admitted jumping behind the wheel and told a news crew he did it because his head hurt and the people in the ER weren’t listening to him.

Police said the man drove the ambulance with lights flashing and sirens blaring down Highway 59 to Beltway 8. Officers tried to chase the stolen rig, but said the man refused to pull over.

The man eventually lost control and crashed into the Beltway 8 overpass on Bellaire Boulevard. He wasn’t hurt and there were no other injuries.

Houston’s police and fire departments are both investigating to see how the man was able to steal the ambulance.

Fire Department spokesman Ruy Lozano said it’s normal for paramedics to leave ambulances running when they take patients into the hospital.

Lozano said the paramedic’s first priority is to get the patient into the emergency room and the ambulances are left running to keep certain equipment turned on.

He said hospital security typically keeps an eye on the HFD ambulances as they wait outside the ER.

The suspect’s name was not released.

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