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Man, 77, steals ambulance to get home

Oct. 10, 2012 at 8:12 PM

CHICAGO, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A 77-year-old Chicago man is facing charges for allegedly stealing an ambulance from a hospital he had just left, police say.

John Neal is accused of walking out of MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn Tuesday night, hopping in an apparently idling ambulance and driving off. He had gone about 10 miles and was 2 miles from his home when officers caught up with him. They said Neal told them he took the emergency vehicle because, "I needed a ride. I needed to get home," the Chicago Tribune reported.

It wasn't clear why Neal had been at the hospital, but now he is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony criminal damage to government property and driving without a driver's license, police said. A Cook County judge ordered him released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Neal's not the only one in trouble. Ray Hanania, a Cicero town spokesman, said the two paramedics assigned to the ambulance have been suspended and may face discipline for leaving the vehicle unattended with the keys inside.

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