Paramedics attacked by patient who stole ambulance in Bloxwich

Two paramedics have been attacked by a man they were trying to help who then drove off in their ambulance before crashing into a police car.

Damage to ambo side
Pictures showing the damage to the ambulance were released by West Midlands Police

The ambulance was sent to a flat in Bloxwich High Street today at around 3pm to reports of a man who had taken a drugs overdose.

When they arrived the 37-year-old lashed out at them before forcing them out of the ambulance in Green Lane - near the junction with Newfield Close - jumping behind the wheel and driving off.

He drove the ambulance erratically, making at least two u-turns, before being forced to stop near Green Lane Baptist Church by police.

Officers arrested the man on suspicion of assault and vehicle theft and he was taken into custody.

Ambulance chiefs have branded the incident 'shocking' and 'unexpected.'

Insp Tony Banton, from Bloxwich Police Station, said: “The ambulance was driven off with its rear doors still open it was reported being driven very erratically and we’re looking into whether it may have struck other vehicles.

“A response vehicle quickly picked up the ambulance and the man was arrested within five minutes of the emergency call coming in to us.

“There was a low-level collision between the ambulance and the arresting officer's car. That officer has been taken to hospital suffering whiplash-like injuries.”

The two male paramedics were taken to hospital as a precaution but are not seriously injured.

West Midlands Ambulance spokesman John Hawker added: "Two ambulance crew members were attacked by a man they'd been called to help and who they believed needed hospital treatment - for them to be attacked is disgraceful.

“Thankfully they’ve not been seriously hurt but no doubt this was a shocking, unexpected incident, plus one of our vehicles has been badly damaged and will have to be taken off the road for some time to be repaired.

“We won’t tolerate any abuse against our staff. Anyone attacking an ambulance crew can expect the full weight of the law to come down on them. We will do all we can to help the police with their enquiry.”