CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested a man Monday accused of stealing an ambulance and crashing it into several vehicles in a parking lot.
The crash happened before noon on Executive Center Drive in southeast Charlotte.
Police said someone called 911 and reported the suspect was damaging property inside the office building before leaving the building and damaging cars in the parking lot.
Authorities said the suspect then found the ambulance and climbed into the driver's seat while a MEDIC crew was treating a patient in the back of the truck.
MEDIC said the crew and the patient were able to safely exit before the suspect took off in the ambulance.
In a video sent to Channel 9, the suspect in the MEDIC ambulance can be seen driving toward parked cars and crashing into them.
The video captures the shock of those witnessing the scene from inside the building.
"Oh my god, oh my god. I cannot believe what I am watching. He's out of the car. He's running up the road," one witness said.
After the crash, the man is seen running from the ambulance and police are quickly swarm the parking lot.
CMPD said the man was detained by officers and transported to the hospital for evaluation. His name was not released.
Operations manager for MEDIC, Michael Stanford, said what happened Monday was rare.
"Absolutely not a daily occurrence," Stanford said. "Very rare occurrence for this to happen. We are fortunate no one was injured."
One of the cars in the crash belongs to Marcia Crenshaw-Hill. She said she hopes the man who took the ambulance for a joyride gets help.
"Thank God that me or my mom or my son wasn't in the car," Crenshaw-Hill said. "I hope he is OK. I hope he is getting treatment as far as mental health goes because that is what it sounds like he needs."
This is not the first time someone is accused of trying to steal an ambulance in the Charlotte area.
In 2017, police said a father hijacked an ambulance with his 3-year-old son inside. They said Bobby Glenn called for an ambulance in Gastonia and claimed his son needed help. But, when paramedics started driving, police said Glenn jumped in the front seat and got aggressive.
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