‘Troubled man’ steals ambulance, goes for joyride

Learn more about this man’s escapade through outer East Portland, which ended up at Madison High …

After being encouraged to check in at a mental health unit by police, a man commandeers the ambulance that was supposed to take him to the hospital.

By David F. Ashton

A man, running into traffic, yelling and hitting cars, on SE Stark Street near 151st Avenue just after noon on March 6 soon attracted attention of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers.

Concerned about the subject’s mental health, a PPB Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team officer joined others at the scene and made first contact with the man.

As seen on this ODOT Traffic camera image at “Oregon 213/Washington Street”, the rampaging ambulance smashed into cars.

“The officers were able to convince the subject to voluntarily go to the hospital by ambulance; an AMR ambulance responded, and prepared to transport the subject,” said an unnamed PPB spokesperson.

But somehow, the man commandeered the ambulance, leaving its paramedics behind, watching their rig speed west on SE Stark Street.

As part of the wild ride through the Centennial and Hazelwood neighborhoods, the driver turned south on SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, and smashed into three vehicles at the Washington Street intersection, before making a U-Turn, and heading north.

Finally, this ride – and the man’s freedom – comes to an end at Madison High School.

Using what the police spokesperson called a “tire flattening device” as the ambulance sped north, the troubled man finally pulled into the Madison High School front parking circle, where it was boxed in by police units and stopped.

“The subject was transported by a different ambulance to the hospital for medical treatment; criminal charges are still being evaluated,” the PPB spokesperson said.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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