LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - What started as a criminal trespass call ended with a stolen ambulance. A patient who had been taken to Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview walked out of the emergency room and drove off in an ambulance.
Daniel Shaklee was being held in the back of a police unit as Longview Police and Fire tried to make sense of the offense. It started on Glover Drive at around 10:30 am.
"Calls wind up changing as we show up on scene. This individual appeared to be a medical patient, therefore we contacted the fire department to come out and check the individual out," said Longview Police Sergeant Shane McCarter.
Police say Shaklee agreed to go to the hospital, but then jumped out of the ambulance on Lake Drive and ran into the woods.
"Paramedics were able to locate him and get him talked back into the ambulance and transported him to the hospital," McCarter said.
Once there, Shaklee decided he didn't want treatment and walked out of the hospital. A short time later this call came from 911 dispatch:
"The mental subject that was transported up here stole the ambulance. So all units BOLO for Medic Two, possibly running code."
Shaklee drove the ambulance to downtown Longview and stopped near the intersection of High and Methvin streets across the street from Phine Salon where Chelsea Ferguson was working.
"I heard the ambulance stop. Like it sounded like it stopped in front of the salon, and I came up here and saw a man with no shirt and no shoes hop into the front of the ambulance, and then I started videoing," Ferguson relayed.
911 tracked the ambulance through its GPS, and Longview Fire Marshal Kevin May was on scene quickly.
"Get on the ground right now!" May commanded Shaklee, who was now in the back of the ambulance.
Another firefighter took Shaklee down as he exited the ambulance. Shaklee was handcuffed.
"Fire marshal was close to where he was at, and took him into custody at that point," McCarter said.
Shaklee didn't want to go quietly. He struggled with officers from time to time. He was finally taken in and charged with theft over $300,000, a class one felony. That ambulance runs around $350,000.
According to the Longview Fire Department, the ambulance was left running while paramedics and Shaklee were in the hospital. Longview Fire will be reviewing their policy about leaving unattended ambulances running.