Against medical advice, a Crisp Regional Hospital patient checked himself out of the facility just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, walked to nearby EMS headquarters and allegedly stole an ambulance.
Thanks at least partially to the fact the ambulance was equipped with a GPS unit, authorities were able to track him until he was eventually stopped by Montezuma Police Department officers.
The patient identified as William Herman Joiner, 56, of Warner Robins, offered no resistance when pulled over by authorities. Later re-admitted to Crisp Regional, Joiner has been charged with felony theft by taking.
“The entire incident lasted only for minutes and we’re very grateful that there was no accident in which anyone was injured,” EMS director David Edwards said. “We’re always concerned about the safety of patients and others.
“We do want to express appreciation for the quick response given the matter by the Crisp County and Dooly County Sheriff’s Department as well as authorities in Macon County.
“We do plan to take steps to avoid a re-occurrence of such incidents.”
Edwards said he could not confirm a report that Joiner stopped at either a fast food restaurant or convenience store where he instructed employees to charge the hospital for food he intended to purchase.