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Man steals Houston ambulance at gunpoint with patient, EMT still inside

Stolen ambulance in Houston, Texas on July 23, 2021. (Houston Police Department/Released)
July 23, 2021

A man stole an ambulance at gunpoint in Houston, Texas on Friday as a patient was being taken to a local hospital, according to city police.

“Southwest and Southeast officers just recovered a stolen [Houston Fire Department] Ambulance at Southwest Freeway and Weslayan,” police tweeted Friday morning. “HFD was transporting a patient to the hospital when a car ran the ambulance off the road and took the ambulance at gunpoint. One firefighter was left on the side of the road.”

“The suspect then drove off with the patient and second firefighter in the back,” the department continued. “Officers located the vehicle via GPS and took the armed suspect into custody without incident.”

Both the firefighter EMT who was left behind and the firefighter EMT who remained in the back of the ambulance with the patient contacted law enforcement after the hijacking.

“We immediately were following him. Our operation center and dispatch knew exactly what was going on and we were able to track the ambulance at all times,” Deputy Chief Isaac Garcia with the Houston Fire Department said, according to Click2Houston. “It does appear that HPD was able to stop the member. He did appear to surrender peacefully, from what I’ve been told. He got out and one of the police officers took the ambulance off the freeway to where we see right now.”

Authorities said the armed suspect was taken into custody after police managed to locate the vehicle via GPS. He was later reportedly taken to the hospital because he was having trouble standing. The patient was also transported to the hospital in another ambulance.

“Houston police say this man hijacked an ambulance on the way to the hospital at gunpoint with a patient and EMT in the back. It happened around 3am along the south loop. HPD got the suspect to pull over on 610/SW Freeway. @KPRC2,” Taisha Walker tweeted along with video of the arrest.

“This is not part of their jobs to be kidnapped, to be assaulted at gunpoint,” said Chief Samuel Pena. “But it definitely has become a risk of the job. I’m very thankful that everybody is okay but it’s not acceptable.”