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June 20, 2013

SC man steals ambulance from ER

The Island Packet

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. — A St. Helena Island man allegedly stole an ambulance Tuesday from the emergency room entrance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Clifton McNeill, 34, had been taken to the hospital by EMS for a "medical reason," according to a Beaufort Police Department news release.

At about 5:10 p.m., he removed his I.V., left a treatment room and forced open the exit of the emergency room, according to the release. Wearing only sweat pants, he approached the ambulance and asked a crew member working in the back of the vehicle to give him a ride home.

When the crew member came out of the ambulance to talk to him, McNeill got in the ambulance and drove off, according to the release.

He drove against traffic for about a mile to the intersection of Hermitage and Ribaut roads before being stopped by local police.

Police and EMS personnel removed McNeill, who struggled against them, from the ambulance. They subdued him with a Taser; the release states the Taser was not shot, but activated after it was already in contact with McNeill.

McNeill was taken back to the emergency room, where he again attempted to resist officers, but "was kept under control," the release said.

Beaufort County public information officer Joy Nelson said the stolen ambulance was a Beaufort County EMS truck.

Nelson said that a female crewmember was working in the back of the truck when it was stolen, and that the woman's partner alerted her to get out of the truck when he realized what McNeill was about to do.

No injuries or damages were reported.

McNeill is currently under medical care. Charges are pending the outcome of medical evaluations.

Copyright 2013 The Island Packet

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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