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Police: For ER getaway, man tries to use ambulance, pair of horses, stolen cars

Alabama police say a 24-year-old ER patient stole an ambulance, tried to saddle two horses and stole a second vehicle in a bizarre escape attempt before re-admitting himself back into the hospital. WAFF's Nick Lough reports.

Attempting a brazen getaway after a car crash via an ambulance, a pair of horses and a stolen SUV when you're drunk may not be the best idea. At least it wasn't for an Alabama man who attempted to do exactly that over the weekend, according to police.


The series of transportation failures began last Friday, when 24-year-old Matthew Todd of Boaz, Ala., got into a car accident, reported NBC affiliate WAFF-TV in Alabama. Investigators told WAFF that Todd was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which happened in Sardis City, a few miles from Boaz, in the northeastern part of the state.

It's unclear whether there were other drivers involved and what kind of injuries Todd suffered from the crash. He was taken by ambulance to the nearest emergency room at Marshall Medical Center South in Boaz and admitted as a patient, but Todd had no interest in sticking around: Authorities said shortly after he got there, he persuaded hospital staff to let him go outside for a smoke break.


Once outside, instead of grabbing a cigarette, Todd hopped into an ambulance that was running, according to WAFF.

"He got the ambulance stuck at the end of Bernard Street and after that, he entered a barn and a connected pasture and tried to saddle two horses," Boaz Police Chief Todd Adams told WAFF.

The attempted equestrian escape was just as doomed as the ambulance he had to abandon, so Todd stole an SUV instead, WAFF reported. He crashed the SUV, totaling it, according to Boaz police; Todd allegedly then found a second SUV to steal, which finally ended up being his ticket back to his house, WAFF reported.

Todd spent the night at home, and the following day, returned to the emergency room seeking treatment for the injuries he suffered from the initial car accident.

"That's when the ER staff and medics called us, and said, 'That's the guy that stole our ambulance,'" Adams told WAFF. The ambulance was found Saturday morning where Todd had left it; Todd was booked into Marshall County Jail on $7,500 bail on two charges of auto theft and one count of burglary, WAFF reported.

Charges are also pending against him for the initial crash that put him in the emergency room, according to WAFF. 

It's not known whether Todd has a history of criminal activity.