Lufkin Police Arrest Man Suspected of Stealing Ambulance
According to a release from City of Lufkin Communications Director Jessica Pebsworth, Lufkin Police arrested a man who led officers on a pursuit in a private ambulance he allegedly stole from outside a local hospital emergency room this morning.
Draylon Lewis, 19, of Lufkin was taken into custody at 8:14 a.m. in front of Eastview Pentecostal Church on Loop 287. The chase ended in a muddy field in front of the church after an officer used a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver.
Officers began looking for the stolen Acadian ambulance around 7:55 a.m. after Lewis took it from outside CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Lufkin emergency room. Acadian emergency workers were inside the hospital and there was no patient onboard at the time.
Dispatch relayed the ambulance’s location to officers via a tracking device monitored in real-time by Acadian staff.
Lewis left the hospital parking lot and turned onto Ellis Avenue. From there he turned left on Frank Avenue and right on Loop 287 northbound. Officers caught up to Lewis on Loop 287 near the intersection of Webber Street around 8:03 a.m.
Lewis turned into the church parking lot to avoid being spiked by officers staged on the highway. The lead pursuit officer pitted the ambulance, fearing Lewis would drive into the officer who was waiting with spikes.
Officers then conducted a high-risk traffic stop on the ambulance and took Lewis into custody.
A video of the pursuit and arrest is available on the Lufkin Police Facebook Page.
Top speeds during the 10-minute chase reached 70-80 mph.
The police Tahoe and ambulance suffered minor damage in the incident and remained drivable.
Lewis is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.