ambulance
An example of an ambulance, not the one in the story. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A patient stole an ambulance in Westminster Wednesday and led police on a chase that ended near the San Diego (405) and San Gabriel (605) freeways in the Long Beach area.

Police were called at 8:40 a.m. about a CARE ambulance being stolen at Magnolia Street and Edinger Avenue, according to Westminster police Cpl. Phuong Pham.

The patient — Christopher Crisanto, 24, of Cypress — became “belligerent” and threatened an EMT in the ambulance with a pair of shears, prompting the driver to pull over and get out of the vehicle to help his co- worker, Pham said.

While the driver and the EMT were outside the ambulance, Crisanto managed to get into the driver’s seat and take off, Pham said.

Police tracked down the ambulance within minutes and saw the vehicle weaving erratically, but the suspect refused to pull over, Pham said.

The pursuit lasted about 15 minutes until the suspect stopped on a dirt lot and surrendered without incident, Pham said.

Police planned to book him on suspicion of carjacking and reckless driving, Pham said.

Pham did not know why Crisanto was being taken to a medical facility in an ambulance initially. The suspect did not appear to require medical care, but nurses at the Orange County Jail will check him to see if he needs to be sent to a hospital, Pham said.

–City News Service

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