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ATLANTA, Georgia (WXIA) – Georgia authorities have caught the hospital patient they say stole an ambulance on Saturday afternoon with two firefighters on board.
Frank Ponquinette, 36, is in custody charged with two counts of kidnapping and interference with government property.
According to DeKalb County Fire Battalion Chief Christopher Morrison, Jr., a male EMT and a female paramedic were doing paperwork and restocking while parked outside in the bay at Emory Hospital when a Ponquinette, a hospital patient in a hospital gown jumped in and ordered the two firefighters to “be quiet and hold on.”
After speeding through the streets of Decatur, Morrison Jr. said Ponquinette crashed the ambulance head on into a chiropractic clinic, taking out a power pole, electrical box and front porch. Nobody was in the building at the time of the collision, as it was closed.
During the ride, the EMT got on a tactical channel with his radio and called dispatch. He gave details of which major intersections they were traveling through.
Authorities say Ponquinette ran from the scene. Luckily, the EMT and paramedic only suffered very minor bruises. Both were taken to Atlanta Medical Center to be checked out and were released.
11Alive’s Duffie Dixon spoke with Heather Guion, who lives in a nearby apartment.
“I saw a man staggering away from the wreck,” she said. “I asked if he was okay and he said yes, but there were other people hurt. I turned to look at the crash and when I turned back around he was gone, not a scratch on him.”
Authorities believe that was in fact Ponquinette. They say he ditched his hospital gown for some clothes he stole from a nearby apartment complex laundry room.
Ponquinette was later spotted and arrested at the Suburban Plaza shopping center at 2601 N. Decatur Road.