A Reading man was arrested Friday on charges he stole an ambulance from the scene of a medical call last week.
David Collado got behind the wheel of a Western Berks EMS ambulance that was parked in the 800 block of Franklin Street last Friday while paramedics tended to their duties with a patient on the 15th floor of an apartment building, police said.
Collado, 39, drove off, leaving the emergency crew stranded with a patient requiring immediate transport to Reading Hospital, according to court documents. A second ambulance was dispatched to the scene while police searched for the stolen ambulance.
Officers were then called a short time later to the 700 block of South 10th Street for a report of a stolen ambulance left abandoned with its lights on and engine running, police said.
Witnesses on the scene told officers they saw the driver of the stolen ambulance enter a home in the 600 block of South 10th Street, according to court documents. Officers went inside and found Collado, but they didn't have enough evidence at the time to arrest him.
During a subsequent interview with investigators, Collado said he was walking home from a barber shop when he felt an asthma attack coming on and stumbled his way toward the ambulance, according to court documents. Collado then admitted to getting inside the ambulance and driving it to his house, where he was able to treat himself for his medical condition.
Collado was charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of an automobile, and obstructing emergency services. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $5,000 bail.