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Patient who broke out of his restraints steals ambulance and leads officers on pursuit

Patient who broke out of his restraints steals ambulance and leads officers on pursuit
Authorities apprehended a patient who broke from his restraints and stole an ambulance before leading officers on a pursuit. (NBC Los Angeles)

A patient who broke out of his restraints and stole an ambulance led authorities on an hour-and-a-half-long pursuit from Lake Elsinore to Hesperia on Sunday before officers used spike strips to stop him, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol began chasing the man about 3:30 p.m. Paramedics called 911 when the patient stole the ambulance, briefly driving southbound on the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore before getting off and then back onto northbound lanes, the CHP said.

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It’s unclear why the man was restrained. None of the paramedics were in the ambulance when the man drove off.

Officers chased the man up the 15 Freeway to Hesperia, where they stopped the ambulance with spike strips. The man hopped out of the vehicle — shirtless — and ran through the desert scrub near the freeway, according to a live broadcast of the pursuit.

The man, who was not immediately identified, surrendered soon after, lying face-down on the dirt before officers cuffed his wrists behind his back and took him into custody.

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