A man was arrested early Monday after police say he stole a Long Beach Fire Department ambulance and drove away in it, officials said.
Los Angeles police officers stopped the ambulance just before 3 a.m. Monday, less than two miles from the San Pedro hospital where officials say the man stole the vehicle, said Officer Melissa Podany, an LAPD spokesperson.
The man, whom Podany identified as Fernandez Zuniga, had initially been brought to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center for undisclosed treatment hours earlier, before he stole the ambulance, officials said. Podany said she did not know Zuniga’s age or when he was initially taken to the hospital.
Officers were able to quickly locate the stolen ambulance, arresting Zuniga on West 18th Street, Podany said. She said at least one officer sustained a minor injury while apprehending Zuniga with a “minor use of force.” She did not elaborate on what type of force was used.
No firefighters or paramedics were in the vehicle at the time it was stolen, said Capt. Jake Heflin, a spokesperson for the Long Beach Fire Department. He declined to say how Zuniga gained access to it but said the agency’s team was transferring their patient into the hospital when the ambulance was taken from the outside bay.
“Unfortunately, our vehicle sustained some minor front-end damage and some scratches,” Heflin said. He said all personnel and gear were accounted for.
Zuniga was booked on a suspicion of grand theft auto, Podany said.
|Read More Latest Crime News From United States & European Countries|