Patient Being Taken to Mental Facility in Torrance Takes Ambulance, Leads Pursuit: CHP

An ambulance is seen after a high-speed chase on Dec. 16, 2018. (Credit: OnSceneTV)

An ambulance is seen after a high-speed chase on Dec. 16, 2018. (Credit: OnSceneTV)

A man being transported to a mental facility in Torrance attacked two ambulance drivers and took over the vehicle, leading authorities on a pursuit in the Inland Empire, the California Highway Patrol said Monday.

An ambulance carrying Joseph Matthew Machado, a 30-year-old Perris resident, was headed to the South Bay around 4 p.m. Sunday when he allegedly assaulted the emergency workers and stole the ambulance.

Officials previously said the patient was restrained in a gurney and somehow broke free before taking control of the vehicle.

CHP said its officers in Riverside were chasing the vehicle until San Bernardino units took over on northbound Interstate 15 near Glen Helen Parkway.

Machado was driving up to 80 mph until a spike strip, deployed by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies near Main Street in Hesperia, forced him to veer right and crash into a ditch, CHP said.

The man then ran out of the vehicle into a dirt field east of Mariposa Road, where he was apprehended by officers before 5 p.m.

Authorities took Machado to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton for assessment and treatment. Neither he nor CHP personnel sustained any injuries during the incident, according to officials. The agency did not provide details on the condition of the ambulance workers.

The 30-year-old could face charges of carjacking, felony evading, hit-and-run, vehicle theft and assault on emergency personnel, CHP said.

The incident remained under investigation.

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