Man steals ambulance, leads Philadelphia police on wild chase

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Saturday, February 29, 2020
Man steals ambulance and is chased through Northeast Philadelphia
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Philadelphia police have captured a stolen ambulance suspect after a nearly two-hour chase on Friday night.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man who stole an ambulance led police on a nearly 90-minute chase after getting shot three times while trying to hit an officer on Friday night in Philadelphia.

Fire medic units were called to the Roosevelt Inn located on the 7600 block of Roosevelt Boulevard for a domestic disturbance incident around 9 p.m.

TIMELINE: Police chase stolen ambulance through Northeast Philadelphia

When the medics arrived, police say the man was shirtless and became combative.

As police arrived on the scene, the man jumped into the ambulance and began driving toward a 2nd district police officer.

WATCH THE FULL POLICE CHASE HERE

"As the man got into the medic unit and began driving, he started driving the medic unit toward a police officer," said Philadelphia Police Department Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew.

Police say the officer opened fire approximately four times, striking the suspect in the leg twice, and once in the side.

The officer was hit by the ambulance. He was taken to Nazareth Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The man led police on a nearly 90 minute chase through Northeast Philadelphia.

At least two police cars were damaged in the chase.

"During the course of him fleeing from police, we believe he struck two marked police vehicles. The officers in those vehicles we don't believe to be injured," said Kinebrew.

"It varied in speed from around 10 miles an hour up to about 25 miles per hour during the majority of the of the male's attempt to flee," said Kinebrew.

Chopper 6 was over the scene as the suspect plowed through a gas station.

At one point during the chase, officers nearly arrested the suspect but he was able to get away.

A tow truck driver even got involved, at one point, trying to collide with the ambulance driver.

Kinebrew said authorities were aided by the Aviation Department who followed the suspect when officers in patrol cars backed off to protect civilians. He also said they were very happy that Pennsylvania State Police assisted.

While the stolen ambulance had two flat tires during the pursuit, Kinebrew did not say if spike strips were deployed.

The chase ended around 10:40 p.m. Action News was there as authorities took the man into custody.

The suspect pulled onto the front lawn of a home on the 2700 block of Tolbut Street. Police surrounded the vehicle.

Two officers pulled the man, who was only wearing boxer shorts and appeared to be bleeding from his leg, out of the ambulance and onto the ground.

One officer stood on the suspect as the others place him under arrest.

Kinebrew said the suspect is currently in the hospital being treated for his gunshot wounds.

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