Stolen ambulance crashes into Decatur business

Updated:

Officials had to shut down Church Street in DeKalb County Saturday afternoon following a wreck involving a stolen ambulance that crashed into a chiropractor’s office.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

Police spent the weekend searching for a man accused of stealing an ambulance from a hospital while two paramedics were inside.

The wild ride started about 2 p.m. Saturday in the 1300 block of Church Street near North Decatur Road.

Paramedics were assisting a patient in the back of an ambulance at Emory Hospital when "a person, possibly with mental health issues, got into the vehicle's drivers' seat and drove the unit until it crashed," said Jill Strickland Luse, chief of public affairs for DeKalb County.

The paramedics were restocking and filling out paperwork after dropping off another patient when the suspect jumped in the vehicle and drove nearly three miles before crashing into Sandy Chiropractic office.

"It was really scary. The sound was really scary. When I came up on it I thought I was going to see a lot more damage," said witness Heather Guion.

Channel 2's Liz Artz got a bird's eye-view of the path of destruction the man left behind. She snapped a photo of hospital clothing found in the bushes. Police said the suspect, who left the scene, ditched his hospital gown, and stole clothing from a nearby apartment complex laundry room.

"He was running alongside of that building in the bushes. And he was looking back and forth, and he was running. He stole somebody's clothes took his off took and took somebody's shoes," said witness Kevin Broderick.

"He just walked off. He was stunned, but walked off," Guion said.

Authorities said the suspect has since been taken into custody.

Police said one of the paramedics was treated and released from a hospital, while the other is staying in the hospital overnight for observation. Both were treated for bumps, bruises and minor injuries.

Authorities are also checking on the condition of the building to make sure it doesn't collapse.