A man stole an ambulance Wednesday as paramedics tended to him during an apparent mental health crisis and drove for more than 3 miles in Southeast Portland before police flattened the vehicle's tires in a high school parking lot, authorities said.
The man, who hasn't yet been identified by Portland police, hit at least three cars before officers caught up with him and was taken to a hospital in a different ambulance for treatment. No one was seriously injured, and he hasn't yet been formally charged with a crime, police said.
Police responded around 12:15 p.m. after someone reported seeing the man yelling, standing in traffic near Southeast 151st Avenue and Stark Street and hitting cars passing by him. Crisis intervention officers later responded to the scene and helped convince the man to agree to be taken to a hospital for an evaluation, police said.
Paramedics arrived, and police said the man was able to get behind the wheel of the ambulance at some point. By the time he drove away, the paramedics were out of the vehicle and uninjured.
Police haven't said exactly how the man was able to gain control of the ambulance.
The man drove about 3.5 miles, hitting other vehicles near Southeast 82nd Avenue and Washington Street, police said. Officers caught up with the stolen ambulance in the parking lot of Madison High School and flattened the tires to stop it from leaving again.