Man thrown out of hospital steals, crashes ambulance in Englewood, police say

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A man stole and crashed an ambulance after being thrown out of a hospital Tuesday, police said. (WLS)

A man is in custody after Chicago police said he stole an ambulance and crashed it in the Englewood neighborhood Tuesday morning.

Police said the 34-year-old man was waiting to be treated at a hospital in the 300-block of West 64th Street, when he apparently got impatient and disruptive and was thrown out of the hospital. He then jumped into a Chicago Fire Department ambulance and took off.

He crashed into a light pole in the 200-block of West 64th Street and was pulled over by officers in the 6300-block of South Yale Avenue, police said. The suspect was still in the driver's seat when he was arrested and was taken to St. Bernard's Hospital for treatment.

No one else was injured, but there was significant damage to the ambulance. Charges are pending against the suspect, police said.

The hospital disputed the assertion that the patient had been thrown out of the hospital. Robert Albellera, chief operations officer for St. Bernard Hospital, released this statement Tuesday night:
"For more than 100 years, St. Bernard Hospital has delivered care with dignity to anyone in need. Today's news reports stating a patient was "kicked out" are simply and completely untrue.

At approximately 3:43 am today, a patient (Patient A) was brought by Chicago Fire Department with a non life-threatening injury. Emergency Department nurses attempted to treat this patient, but he refused to be triaged or medically screened. The patient insisted on leaving, and left the ED of his own accord. This is supported by all records from the ED staff.

As Patient A was walking out on his own, an ambulance brought a second patient (Patient B) through the Emergency Department doors. Patient B was disruptive, but was treated. According to police reports, Patient A left the hospital, saw the ambulance with doors open, keys in, engine running, entered the vehicle and drove away. "
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crashambulancehospitalstolen carChicagoEnglewood
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