A woman was arrested Sunday after Bainbridge Public Safety responded to a call about a stolen ambulance.
According to the BPS Incident Report, a woman contacted E911 from Memorial Hospital stating that she was feeling anxious and wanted to go “to a safe place”. BPS Officer Charles Strickland responded and after discussion, offered to give the caller a ride to Wal Mart, to which she agreed. However, when Strickland opened the door of his patrol car for her to get in, she refused and stated that she needed “to speak with someone about her anxiety”.
About that time, a Grady EMS ambulance arrived at the emergency room and the woman stated that “she was just going to go back into the hospital to seek help”. Strickland stood by for a few minutes until another call came through in reference to loud music and he was placed back into service.
While on the loud music call, E-911 advised that an emergency call had been issued from the hospital regarding a stolen ambulance, last seen driving south on Wheat Avenue.
Bainbridge Public Safety units responded and Officers Tarow Barney and Jason Barlow observed the ambulance turn south on Highway 27 from College Street. At that point, Barney and Barlow initiated their emergency lights to make a traffic stop, however the ambulance continued driving and increased it’s speed to approximately 80 mph as it passed the city limit sign. Captain Ryan Deen advised the trailing units to reduce their speed and turn off the lights and sirens. Once the units did so, the ambulance slowed to approximately 75 mph.
As the pursuit approached Attapulgus, Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Reynolds joined the congregation, approaching the ambulance from the side with his lights and sirens activated. Deputy Reynolds was able to talk to the driver of the ambulance over the EMS radio frequency and convince the driver to pull over to avoid further incident.
Once the ambulance stopped, the driver attempted to run, however Reynolds was able to quickly grab the woman and place her into the custody of BPS Sergeant Pat Bryant.
The driver was arrested and charged with Theft by Taking (felony) and Fleeing and Attempting to Elude (misd). The ambulance had no obvious signs of damage.
Information for this article was obtained directly from the Bainbridge Public Safety Incident Report.