Fort Hood soldier escapes police custody and steals ambulance

A Harker Heights ambulance crashed on Highway 190 near Belton early Tuesday morning.

Harker Heights Police say 22-year-old Taylor Patterson was the driver.  No, not a paramedic -- but a 22-year-old Fort Hood Army Specialist according to the Army post. Sgt. Roosevelt Wilson with Harker Heights P.D. says this all started when officers found Patterson drunk in a car around 4 A.M. Tuesday morning.

"The subject was found to be highly intoxicated and at one time became combative with both the officers and with the EMS personnel," Wilson said.

So police arrested him for Public Intoxication and put him in the patrol car with double-locked handcuffs and a seat belt. But that wasn't the end of it.

"He was somehow able to defeat both the seat belt and get his handcuffs to the front where he proceeded to force open the locked screen that separates both the prisoners and the officers," Wilson said.

Then Patterson tried to grab a shotgun that was in the patrol car. No luck, but he did manage to fire a round off in the process.

After unsuccessfully trying to drive the police car away, he went with "plan B."

"Officers were unsure if he was armed.  He ran from the patrol vehicle, jumped into an ambulance on scene, took control of the ambulance and rammed both police cars," Wilson said.

Patterson took off down Highway 190 in the ambulance...still cuffed by the way.  He crashed at the Simmons Exit, taking out a pole.  Thankfully no one, not even Patterson, was injured in the ordeal.

"Everybody was shocked, everybody was surprised but when you have someone with an altered mental state because of alcohol and they're determined and they're focused...things can happen," Wilson said.

Harker Heights Police say Patterson's charges are still pending but he's facing multiple felonies like "evading with a motor vehicle" and "criminal mischief" for all of the damage he caused.