LOUISVILLE, Ky. --
Police said an ambulance spotted passing vehicles in a traffic jam on the Gene Snyder Freeway was not on official business.
Police said the 1991 model red and white retired ambulance was privately owned by a Louisville man who said he was using it to take injured animals to an animal hospital.
According to the arrest report, Steven Lowery was seen driving the ambulance code 3, as if in an emergency, on Preston Highway at Mount Washington Road. Lowery got on the freeway and headed toward the Bardstown Road exit in traffic, the report said. Officers said they were unable to keep up with Lowery.
“I was in the process of trying to find out who this guy was and he turns on his lights and sirens right in front of me, gets on the Gene Snyder and takes off down the Gene Snyder,” Heritage Creek police Officer Dale Elliot.
Police said they ran the license plate of the ambulance and found that it was registered to Lowery’s home address. Police went to the home and found the ambulance parked in the driveway, according to the arrest report.
Lowery told WLKY that he owns a business, Metro1Medical LLC. According to the secretary of state, the purpose of the company is "the transportation of pets and animals to local vets and hospitals, as well as drug testing and billing for services." Lowery said the business has been registered since July 6, 2011. Lowery said Monday's run was his first.
“We are a pet animal service. We do transport services to all the hospitals in Louisville,” Lowery said.
He told the officer he was dispatched over cellphone, not from MetroSafe, according to the report.
“Guy said a dog got hit and was laying on the side of the road. I knew there was a hospital nearby, so I turned my lights and sirens on. I passed the cop on the side of the road who arrested me, on Preston Highway going down Gene Snyder,” Lowery said.
Steven Lowery Interview
Lowery told WLKY he tried to call the number that made the request and was unable to verify the validity of the report, so he terminated the run.
“Obviously you cannot go Code 3, lights and sirens to pick up an animal. I love animals, but that's a little extreme,” Elliott said.
“That may be my mistake. I did a lot of researching and was told I wouldn't need a CON for my lights and sirens for pet transport. I didn't make it clear that I would be using it,” Lowery said.
Police said Lowery had an expired Highview firefighter identification card.
Lowery is charged with improper use of red lights, improper use of siren, reckless driving and first-degree wanton endangerment.
He was released from jail on his own recognizance around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Lowery is due back in court Thursday.
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