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Another Stolen Ambulance

Ambulance Crew Was There

A BEAUFORT COUNTY (So. Carolina) EMS ambulance was stolen Tuesday evening from the Beaufort Memorial Hospital emergency room entrance and taken for a brief joyride before the thief was apprehended.

Ambulance entrance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital  (WSAV-TV)

Clifton McNeill, 34, had been brought to the ER by ambulance earlier and was still being treated when he decided it was time for him to leave.  The Beaufort Gazette tells us what happened next:

At about 5:10 p.m., he removed his I.V., left a treatment room and forced open the emergency room exit, according to a police news release. Wearing only sweat pants, he approached the ambulance and asked a crew member in the back of the vehicle to give him a ride home. When the crew member came out of the ambulance to talk to him, McNeill got in and drove away.

Beaufort County public information officer Joy Nelson said no one else was in the ambulance during McNeill's ride, but only because a female crew member also working in the back made it out before McNeill took off. Nelson said the crew member exited when her partner realized what McNeill was about to do and alerted her, Nelson said.

McNeill drove into oncoming traffic for about a mile, to the intersection of Hermitage and Ribaut roads, before being blocked and stopped by Beaufort police, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputies and additional EMS personnel, the release said.

McNeill was removed from the ambulance after struggling with officers and Beaufort County EMS workers. Police subdued him with a stun gun.

Nobody was injured during the escapade and the ambulance had no damage done to it.  Beaufort County EMS has anti-theft devices on their newer units, but this was one of the three older ambulances that was scheduled to be refitted soon.

Read the full story in The Beaufort Gazette HERE.

Beaufort County is no stranger to emergency vehicle thieves.  It was just 16 months ago when a deranged man jumped into an idling fire engine at a medical scene and drove off at high speed.  After crashing into six cars, he struck and killed a pedestrian before crashing the truck into a stand of trees.

Review that incident in the Firegeezer STORY HERE.

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