HOUSTON - A suspect who stole an ambulance, led officers on a chase and then barricaded himself inside a home is now in custody, Houston police say.
According to HPD, the suspect crashed the ambulance into a parked vehicle in the 11400 block of Harwin Drive and then ran to a nearby home where SWAT responded on Tuesday afternoon.
The incident began yesterday when officers arrested the suspect for burglary of a habitation and possession of a controlled substance.
According to police, when officers arrested him, he said he had a prior injury to his neck and arm. Authorities took him to the hospital in the Medical Center, and he was admitted overnight.
Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, police say the man asked to go to the restroom, but the nurse wouldn’t allow him to get up because of his injury.
Police say the suspect got out of control, so the officer stepped in. The officer went to handcuff him, there was a fight, and the suspect ran out of the hospital room, police say.
The officer chased after him. Police say the officer tackled him at one point, but the suspect managed to get away and get out of the hospital.
He ran to the ambulance bay where an HFD ambulance had just brought a patient to the hospital. Police say the ambulance crew and the patient were not in the ambulance when the suspect got in and drove away.
Officers later located the ambulance in west Houston. Police say officers got behind the ambulance and there was a short pursuit before the suspect crashed.
The suspect fled on foot and officers set up a perimeter to search for him.
The day prior, officers had taken a report call in the area that mentioned the suspect. Police say officers went to an address listed in the report and spoke to a woman who said the man was inside. Authorities say she was cooperative and stepped outside.
SWAT and HNT officers responded to the scene and tried to get the man to come out.
Authorities say the man did come out of the house, told officers he was going to run, and walked along the side of the house before officers used a taser and soft impact munition to take him into custody.
Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Pena said, "The pain of the surge in crime is felt everywhere. This cannot be tolerated."
"He had the sirens going," said Gus Donatti. "Luckily he didn’t hit anybody, because this corner gets a lot of accidents."
Donatti owns 4 Wheel Autogroup and was nearby the scene of the crash
"They had a negotiator out there, on the loudspeaker, saying please come out peacefully. Luckily he came out, but it was like an action movie," said Donatti. "It was exciting and scary. They told us not to come out, in case shots were fired."
He will be taken back to the hospital to be formally discharged. He will then be taken to the Joint Processing Center for the charges from Monday night. Authorities say he will likely face additional charges.