TARRYTOWN, N.Y.: A patient stole the ambulance that had taken him to a New York City hospital and took it on a 25-mile (40-kilometer) joy ride that ended when state police used a spike strip to stop him, authorities said.
The incident unfolded early Thursday after a 47-year-old man was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in Manhattan for observation, police said.
The ambulance he had ridden in was sitting outside the hospital unlocked, unoccupied and with the keys in the ignition when the man left the facility just before 5 a.m., a New York City police spokesperson said. The man got in and drove off, police said.
The ambulance was tracked by GPS heading north through Westchester County on Interstate 87, police said.
State troopers spotted the ambulance near Tarrytown and tried to stop it, the New York state police said in a news release. The driver failed to stop, and the troopers gave chase, police said.
The runaway ambulance was finally stopped when troopers put a tire-spiking device on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that spans the Hudson River, police said. The ambulance’s tires deflated when the man tried to cross the bridge.
The man was arrested on charges including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and driving while intoxicated, police said. Information on his attorney wasn’t immediately available.
A message seeking comment on the incident was sent to officials with the Mount Sinai hospital system.