HOUSTON, TX – Following a man’s discharge from Memorial Hermann Hospital earlier in October, a man allegedly hijacked a Houston Fire Department ambulance, sending polices on a frantic pursuit that reportedly ended 25 miles away in northwest Harris County.
— NTV Houston (@NTV_Houston) October 21, 2021
The incident occurred shortly before midnight on October 20th, according to police, when the unnamed suspect was reportedly peering into vehicles parked around Memorial Hermann Hospital. Officers tried approaching the suspect, but a Houston Police spokesman stated the suspect managed to slip away:
“He slipped away from them and got into an ambulance, shut the door, and took off. That’s initially where the chase started.”
Authorities say that the ambulance had apparently been left running when the suspect entered and took off with the vehicle.
Officers responding to the call saw the stolen ambulance on the Loop at Beechnut headed north. According to police, the suspect led cops on a half-hour pursuit with speeds topping 100 mph.
Some of the pursuit was caught on video, showcasing the fleeing ambulance’s rims emitting sparks after police deployed spike strips in an effort to put an end to the pursuit. In continuing efforts to elude arrest, the suspect pulled on and off the freeway – but said efforts were to no avail.
Police say the suspect eventually crashed into a median off of Glen Chase, which rendered the vehicle immobile. Both Houston Police and Harris County deputies extricated the driver from the vehicle after breaching the window.
Authorities say despite the chaotic nature of the pursuit, no innocent bystanders were injured as a result. The suspect was alleged to have stolen the ambulance, reportedly sustained minor injuries, and was administered medical treatment before being handed back over to police custody.
Houston Police Lieutenant Wilkens remarked on how luckily no serious injuries were resulting from the incident:
“Luckily, nobody was injured. This guy was doing high, high rates of speed all throughout the city…This could have ended badly for a lot of people, but again we got minor injuries on the suspect; we got the ambulance.”
Lieutenant Wilkens also noted that some tires on police cruisers were inadvertently sacrificed during the deployment of the spike strips, but it’s something he didn’t seem too overly worried about:
“Yeah, we lost some tires tonight, but you know what? kudos to all these HPD and Harris County guys…because no one understands how stressful it is when you’re out doing this kind of stuff.”