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Man Steals Cicero Ambulance, Arrested In Englewood

John Neal (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

John Neal (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

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Updated 10/10/12 – 9:52 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — What would you do, if you needed a ride home from the hospital, but didn’t have a car? A 77-year-old Chicago man has been charged with stealing an ambulance to drive himself home.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports John Neal, of the 6800 block of South Claremont Avenue, is accused of stealing a Cicero Fire Department ambulance from outside MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn late Tuesday night.

Paramedics reportedly had left the unit running with the keys inside.

Chicago police spotted the ambulance on the 1500 block of West 63rd Street, about two miles from Neal’s home. The officers pulled the ambulance over, and Neal was arrested.

He allegedly told police he had been kicked out of the hospital, so he walked over to the ambulance and simply drove away. He said he just needed a ride home.

While driving the ambulance, Neal allegedly damaged the side mirror and the undercarriage on the passenger’s side.

He’s been charged with one count of possession of a stolen vehicle, one count of criminal damage to government property, and driving without having been issued a license.

Neal was allowed to go free on a personal recognizance bond. When the judge asked him how he was going to get home, since he doesn’t have a car, Neal said he had bus fare.