Thursday 15th May 2014 – 5.30pm – John Hawker.
A man suspected of taking a drugs overdose has been arrested after lashing out at paramedics trying to help him and then driving off in their ambulance.
Police were alerted to a patient acting violently towards an ambulance crew who’d attended a call-out to a flat in Bloxwich High Street just before 3pm today (May 15).
It’s understood the 37-year-old assaulted two male staff members before forcing them out of the ambulance in Green Lane – near the junction with Newfield Close – before jumping behind the wheel and driving off.
The ambulance was driven erratically in Green Lane, making at least two U-turns, before being forced to stop near Green Lane Baptist Church by a police response vehicle.
A man from High Street, Bloxwich, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault and vehicle theft and is being held at a police station.
West Midlands Police Inspector Tony Banton, from Bloxwich Police Station, said: “The ambulance was driven off with its rear doors still open…it was reported being driven very erratically and we’re looking into whether it may have struck other vehicles.
“A response vehicle quickly picked up the ambulance and the man was arrested within five minutes of the emergency call coming in to us.
“There was a low-level collision between the ambulance and the arresting officer’s car…that officer has been taken to hospital suffering whiplash-like injuries.”
Two male members of ambulance staff were also taken to hospital as a precaution but are not seriously injured.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Two ambulance crew members were attacked by a man they’d been called to help and who they believed needed hospital treatment – for them to be attacked is disgraceful.
“Thankfully they’ve not been seriously hurt but no doubt this was a shocking, unexpected incident, plus one of our vehicles has been badly damaged and will have to be taken off the road for some time to be repaired.
“We won’t tolerate any abuse against our staff…anyone attacking an ambulance crew can expect the full weight of the law to come down on them. We will do all we can to help the police with their enquiry.”
We have no further details on this incident.