Patient steals ambulance to escape Goodyear hospital

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities say a patient wanting out of an Arizona hospital used an ambulance as his getaway vehicle.

Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis says Michael Lopez hijacked a parked ambulance Sunday outside West Valley Hospital in Goodyear.

Kutis says a firefighter sitting in the back was able to jump out safely.

Police pursued Lopez, who failed to pull over.

Authorities used GPS to locate the vehicle and Lopez at his home in the suburb of Avondale. 

Lopez' neighbors declined to go on camera with 3TV's Erika Flores, but described Lopez as "unstable."

Kutis says Lopez was arrested on charges of theft of means of transportation, felony flight, failure to yield to police and disorderly conduct.

She did not know why Lopez, who just turned 40, was hospitalized.

She says Lopez, who felt he was being hospitalized against his will, is being booked into a Phoenix jail.

The ambulance was returned to firefighters.