Soldier steals ambulance, leads local officers on chase
HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) A man who tried unsuccessfully to
steal a police squad car and then took a Harker Heights ambulance
instead ended up in a chase early Tuesday with local officers that
ended in a crash.
Taylor Patterson, 22, whom police identified as a Fort Hood soldier,
was in the Bell County Jail Tuesday. Fort Hood confirmed that
Patterson is a specialist from the 615th Aviation Support Battalion,
1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
He was arrested following a chase that started with an attempt to steal
the patrol car at around 4 a.m. Tuesday after officers responded to a
report of an unresponsive man in a vehicle behind a business in the
2000 block of Memory Lane in Harker Heights.
Officers called paramedics “due to the apparent intoxication of the
individual,” police said in a press release, and the man was taken into
custody for public intoxication.
|Soldier steals ambulance, leads local officers on chase
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Officers handcuffed him, put him in the rear of a patrol car, and fastened the seat
belt as they prepared to take him to the Bell County Jail, but at some point the
man slipped out of the seatbelt and then managed to work his cuffed hands from
behind his back, police said.
“He then defeated the locked prisoner screen and unsuccessfully attempted to
obtain the vehicle shotgun from its locked rack, but managed to discharge the
shotgun in the patrol car,” authorities said.
Then he escaped from the patrol car and stole the Harker Heights Fire Department
ambulance, colliding with patrol vehicles as he sped onto U.S. Highway 190
headed toward Belton with officers in pursuit.
Police scanners crackled with radio calls during the chase as the driver of the
stolen ambulance was talking with the officers who were pursuing him.
He told them he was heavily armed and had been trained by the Army as a
Special Forces soldier.
The man drove east on U.S. 190 to Belton, where eventually he lost control of the
ambulance, which crashed into a light pole at the Simmons Street exit, police said.
It wasn’t immediately known if officers recovered any weapons during the arrest
and the suspect has not yet been named.
Police closed the outside lane of 190 at the Simmons Exit while they investigated
the incident and cleared the roadway of debris left from the crash.
While police were investigating the ambulance crash, another car, speeding
westbound on U.S. 190, blew a tire and crashed on the other side of the highway.
No one was injured in that crash.