A Cleveland man led police on a slow-speed chase in an ambulance through Oberlin Friday night while trying to escape an assassination attempt, according to a police report.
Officers learned of the theft from Physicians Ambulance Service in Cleveland that reported a stolen ambulance from Westlake around 8 p.m. City police and Ohio State Highway Patrol tried to stop the man, later identified as Michael Zunk, 32, of Cleveland, who was driving eastbound on West Lorain Street. Zunk gave them a “wait a minute” signal with his index finger and a thumbs-up, but didn’t stop.
The chase reached speeds of 30 to 35 mph. Officers tried to deploy stop sticks, which Zunk drove around to avoid. Police then cut in front of the ambulance, forcing Zunk to stop on East Lorain Street between Thomas and East College streets.
According to the report, once Zunk was stopped, he told investigators that he heard there was “a hit out on him” earlier in the day at a Westlake hospital emergency room, where he had accompanied his girlfriend. To escape the reported assassination attempt, Zunk said her took off in an ambulance, he said he discovered outside the ER unlocked with its engine running. Zunk told police that he stole the van because he was “running for his life.”
Oberlin police Lt. Michael McCloskey said it was fortunate to have the chase ended quickly and safely.
“I guess when you run that risk leaving your keys in the vehicle when the vehicle is running,” McCloskey said. “It does make it convenient for someone looking for the opportunity to steal a vehicle.”
Zunk was charged with failure to comply with police and possession of a stolen vehicle, then sent to Lorain County Jail with no bond.