NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — At least two people are in custody following two separate incidents involving ambulances that were stolen on Saturday while Nashville first responders were handling medical calls.
According to the Nashville Fire Department (NFD), somebody stole Medic 28 from TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, drove it into Wilson County, and then fled back to Davidson County. The suspect reportedly collided with multiple vehicles in both counties while driving the ambulance.
“Multiple law enforcement officers pursued the individual, and officers took decisive measures to stop the ambulance,” fire officials stated.
Authorities said officers from the Mt. Juliet Police Department (MJPD) and the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) were involved in catching 45-year-old Gary Mabry Jr. of Mt. Juliet, who had been hospitalized at TriStar Summit Medical Center.
According to the MPND, Mabry drove the ambulance from the Hermitage hospital into Wilson County with the lights and sirens activated.
Just before noon on Saturday, Sept. 30, officials said MJPD was notified about the stolen ambulance, which was being tracked via GPS and followed by an MNPD helicopter crew. That information was shared with Mt. Juliet officers, who reportedly found the ambulance off of Central Pike.
While the suspect was evading officers at the Mt. Juliet Road overpass, MJPD said he “purposely struck two cars,” which led to one person being hospitalized with minor injuries.
After Mabry returned to Davidson County, MNPD said an officer deployed spike strips, which deflated some of the ambulance’s tires, but the chase continued until Mabry crashed into an apartment complex off Stewarts Ferry Pike.
Authorities said Mabry tried to run away from the disabled ambulance, ignoring commands to stop. However, when members of MJPD told him they would release a K9 officer if he didn’t surrender, Mabry reportedly heeded their warning and was taken into custody.
One Mt. Juliet officer who helped apprehend Mabry was taken to the hospital after injuring their arm, but the officer has since been released, according to police.
Even though Mabry was charged in Wilson County for crimes related to the pursuit, he is reportedly being held on a $60,000 bond in Nashville for theft of an NFD ambulance, evading and resisting arrest, reckless driving, and criminal impersonation of a first responder.
In a separate Saturday incident, fire officials reported that Medic 29 was responding to a medical call in the 500 block of Ben Allen Road when someone drove off in the ambulance and crashed into Engine 15, which was assigned to the same call.
There is no word on the identity of the person involved in the second ambulance theft or the potential charges against them.
According to NFD, both incidents are still under investigation, but no Nashville first responders were injured, both ambulances were recovered, and the suspects were arrested.
“The NFD takes these incidents seriously and is committed to ensuring the safety of its personnel and the public,” fire officials said in a Saturday afternoon statement. “The department is working closely with law enforcement to investigate these incidents and take appropriate action.”
“We are grateful for the quick response and collaboration of law enforcement in both incidents,” added Chief William Swann. “The safety of our personnel and the public is our top priority.”
The NFD urges community members to respect emergency vehicles and personnel. You are also asked to report any suspicious activity involving emergency vehicles immediately.