Officer injured when suspect tried to hit him
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
Police surrounded a man in a stolen ambulance in Melvindale the evening of June 21, following a multi-city pursuit which began in Taylor and injured two police officers, one seriously.
The man, who is awaiting arraignment, was known to local law enforcement officials.
Taylor police reports chronicle the strange saga, complete with police vehicles chasing the ambulance on I-75, with lights and siren engaged, which began at a Circle K convenience store and gas station, 23890 Northline Road, east of Telegraph, where the suspect had been sleeping on the ground next to the building for several hours.
When a store manager told him to leave the area, he decided to steal the Superior Ambulance, which was left unlocked at a gas pump, with its keys in the ignition, while the ambulance employees entered the store for soft drinks.
The ambulance thief was soon spotted in the area of Northline Drive and I-75, where he entered the northbound lanes of the freeway, heading through the cities of Southgate, Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Melvindale, until he exited the freeway at Schaefer Road and Fort Street, and drove north on Fort Street into Detroit.
The man drove into Detroit on surface streets, before returning to southbound I-75, which he followed until he exited the freeway at Outer Drive in Melvindale.
Interim Melvindale Police Chief Dan Jones said that once the ambulance entered Melvindale, police officers pursued the ambulance along Outer Drive, attempting to box him in.
“The ambulance stopped, then intentionally backed up into one of our patrol cars, and was able to get around the patrol cars to continue onto northbound Allen Road,” he said. “As the pursuit was approaching Greenfield, officers began surrounding the ambulance again, and the ambulance began ramming a Melvindale patrol vehicle in order to escape.”
Jones said police officers were able to box in the ambulance again, but the driver continued to move back and forth, ramming a patrol vehicle.
“A Melvindale officer exited his vehicle and approached the ambulance, at which time the ambulance pulled forward to continue ramming,” Jones said. “The officer had to take evasive action to avoid being run over or pinned between two vehicles. The officer received an injury and had to be transported to the hospital.”
Jones said the police officer has been released from the hospital and is currently off work.
“The officers were able to extract the uncooperative and resistive driver out of the ambulance and place him under arrest,” he said. “Another Melvindale officer injured their knee in the struggle, but is doing fine and is back to work.”
Jones said Melvindale, along with the Taylor and Southgate police departments, have submitted paperwork to the Wayne County prosecutor for review. He said there was no damage to public property, and no civilians were hurt.