10/11/23 Johnstown, PA – Ambulance Parked In Front Of Hospital To Transport Patient – Man Steals It – Hits Utility Pole – Drives Over Train Tracks – Put On Reflective Vest – Arrested

Man arrested after stealing ambulance from Vanderbilt

October 11, 2023


An Ebensburg man was jailed Wednesday, accused of stealing an ambulance that was parked on Main Street in downtown Johnstown, crashing into a utility pole and driving onto train tracks, authorities said.

Johnstown police charged Ammanuel Owar Ojha, 22, of the 200 block of Park Street, with theft, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, flight to avoid apprehension, obstructing emergency services and reckless driving.

According to a complaint affidavit, an East Hills Ambulance crew parked their vehicle in front of Select Specialty Hospital, 320 Main St., to transport a patient to another facility.

Ojha saw the vehicle was parked with the engine running and the key in the ignition while the paramedics were inside the building.

Ojha allegedly drove off in the ambulance along Franklin Street and attempted to turn onto Washington Street, striking a utility pole and driving onto train tracks behind the Public Safety Building, the complaint said.

Police said they found Ojha standing near the vehicle wearing a reflective vest.

Police arrested Ojha when he tried to walk away. Camera footage from the ambulance allegedly captured Ojha operating the vehicle.

Richard Foor, manager of East Hills Ambulance, said Ojha is not a member of the ambulance service.

After he crashed, Ojha put on a reflective vest that was inside the vehicle.

The ambulance will be out of service for an extended time.

The vehicle cost around $250,000, he said.

Ojha was arraigned by on-call District Judge Michael Zungali, of Hastings, and sent to Cambria County Prison in Ebensburg, after failing to post 10% of $50,000.