5/2/24 Santa Rosa, CA – Ambulance Stolen With EMTs In The Back – Police Chase – Spike Strips

Man arrested after stealing ambulance from Vanderbilt

May 2, 2024


Santa Rosa officers arrested a man who allegedly stole an ambulance after he asked for a ride to go a hospital, police said Thursday.

At 7:53 p.m. Wednesday, officers learned that there was a person in an altered state at the Russian River Brewing Company at 725 Fourth St. They found 36-year-old Sonoma resident Jorge Sanchez Rodriguez, who told the officers that he was having an anxiety attack and asked to go to a local hospital.

Police said officers offered to drive Rodriguez but he declined and wanted to be transported by ambulance. A Sonoma County Fire District ambulance arrived and evaluated Rodriguez so he could be taken to a hospital.

While an ambulance member was talking with Rodriguez, he allegedly started to walk away. He then suddenly ran to the driver’s side of the ambulance and got into the driver’s seat, according to police. He drove the ambulance west on Fourth Street with an ambulance crew member trapped in the rear of the ambulance.

Officers chased Rodriguez, who drove south onto D Street and then east onto Sonoma Avenue. He continued on Sonoma Avenue before turning north on Farmers Lane. Police said that as the ambulance approached Fourth Street, an officer was able to deploy a set of spike strips.

Two of the tires on the driver’s side of the ambulance were deflated but Rodriguez managed to continue driving the ambulance. He turned south on Mission Boulevard and then west on Montgomery Drive.

Officers planted two more sets of spike strips along Montgomery Drive, deflating the other two tires. However, Rodriguez continued before stopping at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Police said he immediately stepped out of the ambulance and then laid his face down on the ground with his hands out. He was taken into custody without the use of any force.

The trapped ambulance member was safe and uninjured.

According to police, Rodriguez was put in the back seat of a patrol car for transportation to jail, but he allegedly began hitting his head against the security screen while kicking at the window. He was removed from the vehicle and placed on a gurney.

Rodriguez was booked into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Center on suspicion of vehicle theft, reckless evading, kidnapping, resisting an executive Officer, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.