Patient accused of stealing ambulance to escape hospital

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 17:43:16-04

Goodyear, AZ (KPHO) — A patient escaped from an Arizona hospital by hijacking an ambulance parked outside the facility on Sunday, Goodyear police officers said.

A firefighter sitting in the back of the vehicle was able to jump out safely, according to Goodyear police spokesman Lisa Kurtis.

Michael Lopez, 40, of Avondale, took off from West Valley Hospital at 13677 W McDowell Rd. and failed to pull over. Officers tracked the vehicle to his home, where he was arrested.

Lopez was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix on charges of theft of means of transportation, felony flight, failure to yield to police and disorderly conduct.

When asked why he escaped, Lopez told police he thought he was being held against his will.

It’s not known why Lopez was being hospitalized. West Valley Hospital is an acute-care community facility.

The ambulance was returned to the Buckeye Valley Fire Department.