Residents shocked to learn neighbor was suspect in stolen ambulance

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Residents in Northeast Philadelphia say they were shocked when they saw their neighbor on the news leading police on a chase in a stolen ambulance.

Police have identified the suspect as 42-year-old Mark Giwerowski, who describes himself on Facebook as an unemployed bum.

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Giwerowski is accused of stealing an ambulance during a domestic-related incident in Northeast Philadelphia and trying to run over an officer. Giwerowski was shot three times before leading police on a 90-minute chase last Friday.

His neighbors in the 4000 block of Creston Street had heard all the commotion with the sirens and helicopters flying all over the place.

VIDEO: See the stolen ambulance police chase its entirety

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See the stolen ambulance police chase in Philadelphia in its entirety.

RELATED: Timeline of stolen ambulance chase in Northeast Philadelphia

"It was kind of crazy and then we pulled it up on the news and realized what was going on and, yeah, come to find out it was my neighbor," said neighbor Latoya Savage.

One neighbor named Rae didn't realize it was Giwerowski on the news until a few days later.
"Actually when I first saw the news clip, I didn't know it was him, I knew the guy looked familiar but it didn't cross my mind that it would be him. Then after a few days, I said, 'Oh my God, that's the guy at the end of the block," said Rae.

Mark Giwerowski

Still, neighbors were surprised to hear it was Giwerowski .

"I didn't even know he would do stuff like that though, he was all right; he was a cool boy," said James Hendricks.

"It's always like that though, everyone says he was a nice guy or he kept to himself," said Lori Lewis.

It was the second Philadelphia medic unit stolen in recent months, raising questions of why ambulances are left running, unlocked, while no one is in them.

Last September, someone stole a medic unit that was left running outside Methodist Hospital. After a short chase, it ended up at Broad and Christian streets where the suspect was taken into custody.

"They have to leave the engine running. An ambulance is not a van. An ambulance is actually filled with many different types of emergency equipment; the emergency lights require power so we don't have a choice but to leave the engine running," Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said.

Giwerowski remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition with three gunshot wounds to the lower extremities at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital. He faces a slew of charges including robbery, carjacking, and multiple counts of aggravated assault and related offenses.
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