A man caused more than $5,000 in damages when he crashed a stolen ambulance into a state police cruiser, according to a complaint file Monday afternoon.
Marcus Stapleton, 35, of Montoursville took the UPMC Williamsport vehicle in the early morning hours after being treated for a cut on his hand caused by a bottle, Corporal Jeffrey Vilello said. EMS took Stapleton to the hospital after stitching the wound up near the 7000 block of State Route 87 in Plunketts Creek Township, Vilello added.
Stapleton allegedly stole the ambulance parked in front of 1145 Almond Street after he was discharged at 2:30 a.m. He then drove to Turkey Hill on Washington Boulevard around 4 a.m. and entered the store with blood on his hands and clothes, according to the affidavit.
Stapleton told the clerk there was a body inside the ambulance and he needed directions to SR 87, Vilello wrote in the report. He left after a customer gave him directions, according to a clerk, who then called police.
Ten minutes later, Stapleton allegedly returned to the store. Witnesses claimed he was in a panic and requested directions to SR 87 again. He allegedly left after a second encounter with the clerk.
Moments later, Stapleton crashed the ambulance through the front of the store, causing thousands of dollars in damages, Vilello said. After backing the vehicle away from the store, he then drove south on Railway Street, Vilello said. Surveillance video recorded the early morning incident, troopers said.
Working with UPMC, officers with the Williamsport Bureau of Police traced the ambulance to Lycoming Mall Drive using the vehicle’s tracking system. State police attempted to stop Stapleton, who drove into a cruiser, causing more than $5,000 in damages, Vilello wrote in the affidavit.
Two troopers were sitting inside the cruiser as the ambulance struck the passenger side and front fender near the wheel, according to the report.
A brief chase ensued before Vilello crashed the ambulance while traveling south on Fairfield Road, investigators said. He fled the scene and entered Alberts Spray Solutions, 60 Choate Circle, through an unlocked door, police added.
Although Stapleton tried to hide inside the building, troopers were able to find him and take him into custody.
Stapleton has an “extensive” criminal history, according to police. He was recently released from custody after “maxing out” a federal sentence, according to investigators.
Stapleton was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, fleeing, reckless driving, and accidents involving damage to an occupied vehicle.
Judge Gary Whiteman denied Stapleton bail during an arraignment Monday morning.