Knoxville man arrested after allegedly stealing ambulance

Knoxville man arrested after allegedly stealing ambulance

Posted: Updated:
Police and EMS gather at the site where the woman fell out of the truck. Police and EMS gather at the site where the woman fell out of the truck.
Christopher Ford (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Christopher Ford (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
The ambulance was soon located wrecked in an alley north of E. Oklahoma Avenue at Cornelia Street after hitting two utility poles. The ambulance was soon located wrecked in an alley north of E. Oklahoma Avenue at Cornelia Street after hitting two utility poles.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knoxville Police Department says a man accused of stealing a Rural/Metro ambulance early Tuesday morning is now in custody.

The same man was involved in what was originally thought to be a domestic violence incident involving a moving vehicle Monday afternoon.

Christopher Todd Ford, 30, was arrested just before noon by University of Tennessee Medical Center officers. He now faces charges of auto theft and disorderly conduct.

Police had initially said Ford had run over his girlfriend Jacqueline Allison after she somehow exited their moving pickup truck on Oldham Avenue.

After interviewing witnesses, officers later determined Allison slumped over and fell from the vehicle as it was making a turn. Police say Ford did not leave the scene and never backed over the woman as originally reported.

"Obviously you get bits and pieces from different witnesses, and you try to put everything together. The witnesses were transported to the safety building where we began interviewing them, and it seems that each witness saw something a little different, from a different angle," said Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk.

Allison admitted to taking Xanax and Heroin prior to the incident. She had injuries consistent with falling from a moving vehicle. Ford also admitted to taking some kind of drug and both were taken to Tennova Hospital for treatment.

Then, around 2:13 a.m., officers responded to Tennova Hospital about the theft of a Rural/Metro ambulance. Emergency medical technicians left the ambulance in an emergency room bay while they were inside with a patient. When they returned, the ambulance was gone.

"Typically hospitals are very safe and secure environments, so it would be very unlikely for anyone to suspect something like that would happen there," said Jerry Harnish, Rural/Metro Regional Director.

Officers determined a recently released patient stole the ambulance. It was soon located wrecked in an alley north of E. Oklahoma Avenue at Cornelia Street after hitting two utility poles.

"I think he took advantage of the time that the crew was unloading the patient to be able just to jump in the cab and drive away with it," said Harnish.

The ambulance was heavily damaged and towed from the scene.

Officers were then able to determine Ford as the suspect in the ambulance theft.

Ford has a criminal history that includes assault, domestic assault, driving without a license and vandalism.
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