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Man charged after stealing and crashing stolen ambulance

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A man was charged early this morning after he jumped into the driver’s seat of an ambulance as it sat in an emergency room driveway and then crashing it while trying to drive away.

The incident happened in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago on Sunday morning. The ambulance was parked near the ER of Norwegian American Hospital located at 2900 W. Cortez Street. The paramedics who should have been driving the vehicle were loading a stretcher into the back when the incident occurred.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, at that point 37-year-old Juan Hernandez jumped into the driver’s seat of the ambulance and started the engine. He then drove off, leaving the paramedics stunned and confused in his wake. The police were immediately called.

Hernandez then went on a strange and confusing course as he wove his way down the street. Reportedly he struck several parked cars as he went before finally crashing he vehicle and coming to a halt. At that point the police descended on the vehicle and he was arrested. He managed to travel only about a mile and a half from the hospital before crashing the vehicle and being unable to move it any longer.

Hernandez found himself transported back to Norwegian American Hospital to be checked for injuries. Minor injuries were found, but nothing serious and nothing that required him to be admitted to the hospital, and he was released into police custody.

Hernandez is from the 3600 block of West Belmont Avenue. He was, apparently, drunk at the time of the incident. He was charged with drunken driving. He was also charged with criminal damage to government property, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, reckless driving and failure to carry a valid driver’s license.

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