Article Source: www.chicagotribune.com
A man who was kicked out of St. Bernard Hospital stole an ambulance that was outside and drove for about a block, crashing into a light pole and a street sign, before he was taken into custody early Tuesday, according to authorities.
The man, 34, was waiting to be treated at St. Bernard Hospital about 3:55 a.m. when he grew impatient and disruptive, prompting staff to eject him from the South Side hospital, police said.
Just outside the hospital, the man stole an ambulance from the 300 block of West 64th Street in the Englewood neighborhood, police said.
The man drove Ambulance 30 for about a block when he crashed into a light pole and a street sign, mowing them down.
Officers noticed the erratic driving and pulled the ambulance over in the 6300 block of South Yale Avenue.
The man was sitting in the driver’s seat and taken into custody, police said. He was taken to St. Bernard Hospital for treatment.
The ambulance came to a stop with two flat tires near a guard rail for the Dan Ryan Expressway. Its front bumper was partially crushed and missing a headlight.
About half a block south, a light bulb and street signs for “Yale” and “Wells” still attached to a metal pole were lying on the ground.
Part of the ambulance’s front bumper also rested on the sidewalk.
Rudolph Thomas, 54, said he heard the tire rims screech on the road before officers swarmed the ambulance.
He was standing in the doorway of a Citgo on the west side of South Yale Avenue working security for the gas station.
“I heard a crash but I didn’t know where it was coming from,” Thomas said. “I know paramedics don’t drive like that,”
Thomas said he was grateful no one was hurt in the crash, especially motorists who exit the highway at a high rate of a speed in that area.
“I’ll tell you what. There’s some exciting (stuff) going down on 63rd, especially overnight,”
Per protocol, the officer will be placed on administrative leave.