In a bizarre sequence of events on Sunday, a man went from being strapped to a gurney and on his way to the hospital to leading Southern California law enforcement on a nearly 70-mile chase in a stolen ambulance. Along the way, man stopped at an AM/PM to buy a pack of cigarettes. [NBC Southern California]
At about 3:30 p.m., the patient was on a gurney inside an ambulance that was transporting him to Temecula Valley Hospital. The patient managed to escape his restraints as the ambulance was driving in the Lake Elsinore area.
The patient got into a fight with a paramedic in the back of the ambulance, prompting the driver to pull over to help. The patient then commandeered the ambulance, and the ambulance driver called 911 to report the vehicle as stolen.
After taking over the ambulance, the patient quickly made a stop at a gas station, where he cut to the front of the line to buy cigarettes. He then led police on a chase on the 15 Freeway, driving through the Cajon Pass during the pursuit.
The vehicle chase ended on the 15 Freeway in Hesperia when the suspect abruptly stopped the ambulance without putting the vehicle in park. The ambulance rolled to a stop in the freeway median.
Next, the suspect exited the ambulance shirtless and shoeless and ran into a field as an officer chased him on foot. A lengthy foot pursuit ensued in which both the suspect and the officer appeared to be out of breath, and at times, began walking.
A CHP helicopter landed in a field, and an officer got out of the aircraft and helped apprehend the suspect. Officers finally arrested the man.