CAMP SPRINGS, Md. - A man police say stole an ambulance from a hospital in Prince George's County has been taken into custody after leading officers on a pursuit that lasted about an hour and ended at an intersection in Camp Springs.
FOX 5's Bob Barnard and photojournalist Doug Wilkes captured video of the ambulance as it drove down Indian Head Highway after it was reported stolen around 6 a.m. from the Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md.
Police say officers were able to locate the stolen ambulance by a GPS device on the vehicle heading southbound Interstate 495 where they began to pursue the ambulance. The police pursuit continued into Charles County and eventually returned back into Prince George's County.
Stop-sticks were used by police, but the suspect, identified as 43-year-old William Person, of Temple Hills, continued to drive the vehicle on the rims creating hazardous sparks. At around 6:45 a.m., video captured by FOX 5 shows the wheels of the ambulance down to the metal rims as the vehicle made its way north on Route 210. The ambulance was followed by at least a dozen police vehicles.
After the ambulance passed our crew on Route 210, the pursuit lasted approximately 20 more minutes before officers were able to stop the vehicle near Allentown Road and Camp Springs Way.
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski says officers formed a pocket around the ambulance to slow it movement. When the vehicle clipped a patrol car, the officer inside used his vehicle to bring the ambulance to a stop in Camp Springs. Person was taken into custody and was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was later released from the hospital.
Person is charged with auto theft and malicious destruction of property. Police say deputies in Charles County are also expected to charge him for several traffic offenses that occurred in their jurisdiction.
Officials say no EMT techs or firefighters were on board when the vehicle was stolen. No injuries were reported during the incident.
Stawinski says Person was admitted to the Prince George’s Hospital Center Thursday night after officers found him injured and acting erratically. After he was discharged, Stawinski said Person was able to gain access to the ambulance and drive it from the hospital.