WESTMINSTER – A patient who authorities say carjacked an ambulance and led police on a 15-minute pursuit on Wednesday, Aug. 30, that reached 80 mph on the freeway with lights and siren on before peacefully surrendering was charged Friday, Sept. 1, with several felonies.
The patient, identified as Christopher Crisanto, 24, of Cypress, was charged with felony counts of carjacking, evading a police officer, and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, as well as misdemeanor counts of failing to provide a blood and saliva sample and driving without a valid license.
Around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday, officers were dispatched to a residential neighborhood in the Magnolia Street and Edinger Avenue area of Westminster to assist CARE ambulance personnel with an unruly patient, police said.
The ambulance driver had reported that Crisanto, who had been picked up earlier in Cypress, was belligerent and had threatened an emergency-medical technician with a pair of shears. The driver had pulled the ambulance over to the side of the road to help the EMT in the back of the vehicle, Westminster Police Cpl. Phuong Pham said.
While the driver and the EMT were outside the ambulance, Crisanto slipped into the driver’s seat and drove off without them, Pham said. Within a minute, officers spotted the ambulance.
Crisanto drove erratically, refusing to pull over for officers, police said. He finally stopped in a dirt lot near the interchange of the I-405 and I-605 freeways, Pham said, and surrendered peacefully.
Staff writer Anthony Mendoza contributed to this report.