N.M. Firefighters Nab Man Who Tried to Steal Ambulance

July 28--An Albuquerque man was arrested on suspicion of trying to steal an ambulance and ram a truck into police cars.

An Albuquerque man who police suspect was high on methamphetamine is accused of trying to steal an ambulance with a patient inside and ram a truck into police cars in separate incidents on Saturday afternoon.

Gonzalo Tellez-Santilla, 34, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated fleeing, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and assault on a health care worker.

Albuquerque Ambulance had been called to the 8600 block of Central SE to help an unconscious woman. The ambulance crew loaded her into the back and started to treat her.

"And the next thing you know, some guy ... jumps in and tries to steal the ambulance," said Albuquerque police Sgt. Ferris Simmons, a spokeswoman.

When the ambulance started to move, one of the emergency medical technicians jumped out the back and ran to find Tellez-Santilla driving the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

The EMT got into the passenger's seat and the two men exchanged blows, according to the criminal complaint. Then Tellez-Santilla got out of the ambulance and ran.

Two Albuquerque firefighters on a call in the area and Albuquerque Transit Security officers saw the incident and chased down Tellez-Santilla and corraled him until police arrived, according to the complaint.

Earlier Saturday, Tellez-Santilla was pursued by the Isleta Police Department. Officers tried to stop him after he allegedly caused a crash and fled the wrong way on Interstate 25 toward Albuquerque in a truck registered to his parents, Simmons said.

Simmons said Albuquerque police cleared several intersections and Isleta police were going to take him into custody near Wyoming and Central SE. But as officers prepared for the arrest, Tellez-Santilla drove directly at Albuquerque police officers who were in a vehicle and another officer who was out of his vehicle preparing to use a spike belt, Simmons said.

The officers "moved out of the way to avoid getting killed," she said.

APD didn't chase Tellez-Santilla because doing so would have threatened motorists, she said. Officers had planned to arrest Tellez-Santilla at his residence.

But later Saturday, "apparently he dumped the vehicle registered to his parents" and went after the ambulance, Simmons said.

Simmons said Isleta police are likely to file charges against Tellez-Santilla, too.

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