Bizarre Police Pursuit of Stolen Ambulance Ends in Hesperia - NBC Southern California
Southern California Pursuits

Southern California Pursuits

Coverage and raw video of Southern California's wild pursuits

Bizarre Police Pursuit of Stolen Ambulance Ends in Hesperia

A patient broke free from his restraints and commandeered the ambulance in Lake Elsinore before the pursuit ended nearly 70 miles away in the high desert north of Los Angeles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ambulance Police Pursuit Ends in Foot Chase

    A man is arrested after allegedly breaking out of his restraints and stealing an ambulance to lead police on a chase on Sunday. Rick Montanez reports for NBC4 News at a 11 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2018. (Published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018)

    A patient on his way to Temecula Valley Hospital allegedly got out of his restraints and stole an ambulance Sunday, leading police on a pursuit on the 15 Freeway from the Lake Elsinore area before a foot-chase finish in Hesperia, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The ambulance driver reported the stolen vehicle on a 911 call around 3:35 p.m. Investigators said the man broke free from his restraints on the way to Temecula Valley Hospital, then got into a fight with a paramedic in the back of the ambulance.

    When the driver pulled over to help, the patient commandeered the ambulance, according to investigators.

    The suspect promptly made a stop at a gas station for cigarettes. Aylin Brambila was working inside the AM/PM when the man cut to the front of a line to pay.

    Alleged Stolen Ambulance Pursuit Ending

    [LA] Alleged Stolen Ambulance Pursuit Ending

    A man allegedly stole an ambulance and led police officers on a wild police chase up the 15 Freeway on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. Eliana Moreno and Newschopper4 Bravo capture the end of the chase.

    (Published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018)

    "He started shaking a little, getting a little panicked, I guess," said Brambila. "That's when he was like, 'I'm just going to get this, and I'm going to leave.'

    "Then he gets in an ambulance, doesn't close the door properly and just drives off."

    Security camera video from the store showed the shirtless driver get out of the ambulance and open the rear doors before putting on pants in the parking lot. He can be seen buying cigarettes on video from cameras inside the store.

    Video also showed the man driving off in the ambulance as a customer at a fuel pump points out the ambulance to officers. 

    Eliana Moreno and Newschopper Bravo were over the police pursuit at approximately 4:15 p.m on the 15 Freeway northbound. A short time later, the vehicle passed the 210 Freeway and Rancho Cucamonga area, but continued northbound through the Cajon Pass.

    The pursuit concluded near the intersection of Mesa Street and Mariposa Road on the 15 Freeway in Hesperia when the driver abruptly pulled over without putting the vehicle in park. The ambulance rolled to a stop in the freeway median.

    WATCH: SoCal's Wildest Police Chases

    [LA] WATCH: SoCal's Wildest Police Chases

    Southern California's wild police chases: We've all seen them, and some can take pretty unexpected turns. Watch our collection of some of the wildest moments from the most infamous, dramatic pursuits.

    (Published Friday, July 14, 2017)

    A shirtless and shoeless man exited the ambulance and proceeded to run into a field with an officer chasing on foot. After a lengthy foot pursuit in which both the suspect and the chasing officer appeared to be out of breath and began walking at times, an officer got out of a CHP helicopter that landed in the field and helped make the arrest.

    Rick Montanez contributed to this story.

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