HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) A Fort Hood soldier who tried unsuccessfully to steal a police squad car and took a Harker Heights ambulance instead, leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash, was indicted Wednesday for evading arrest with a vehicle and theft over $150,000, but under $300,000.
Taylor Patterson, 25, was arrested following a chase that started with an attempt to steal the patrol car at around 4 a.m. on May 24, 2016, after officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man in a vehicle behind a business in the 2000 block of Memory Lane in Harker Heights.
Officers called paramedics “due to the apparent intoxication of the individual,” police said in a press release, and the man was taken into custody for public intoxication.
Officers handcuffed him, put him in the rear of a patrol car, and fastened the seat belt as they prepared to take him to the Bell County Jail, but at some point the man slipped out of the seatbelt and then managed to work his cuffed hands from behind his back, police said.
“He then defeated the locked prisoner screen and unsuccessfully attempted to obtain the vehicle shotgun from its locked rack, but managed to discharge the shotgun in the patrol car,” authorities said.
Then he escaped from the patrol car and stole the Harker Heights Fire Department ambulance, colliding with patrol vehicles as he sped onto U.S. Highway 190 headed toward Belton with officers in pursuit.
Police scanners crackled with radio calls during the chase as the driver of the stolen ambulance was talking with the officers who were pursuing him.
He told them he was heavily armed and had been trained by the Army as a Special Forces soldier.
The man drove east on U.S. 190 to Belton, where eventually he lost control of the ambulance, which crashed into a light pole at the Simmons Street exit, police said.
Police closed the outside lane of 190 at the Simmons Exit while they investigated the incident and cleared the roadway of debris left from the crash.
While police were investigating the ambulance crash, another car, speeding westbound on U.S. 190, blew a tire and crashed on the other side of the highway.
No one was injured in that crash.