HESPERIA (CBSLA) — A Perris man who authorities say was being transported to a mental institution in Torrance now faces charges of carjacking, hit-and-run and felony evading after stealing the ambulance he was in and leading police on a chase.

Joseph Matthew Machado, 30, was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment after he was finally taken into custody at the end of a wild chase in a stolen ambulance.

California Highway Patrol dispatchers reported its officers were in pursuit of a stolen ambulance on the northbound Interstate 15 at Jurupa Road at about 4:20 p.m. Sunday. Authorities say the suspect drove at speeds of up to 80 mph and veered when a spike strip was laid out at Main Street and drove into a ditch east of the roadway.

Machado jumped out of the ambulance and into a dirt field east of Mariposa Road, forcing CHP officers to chase after him, officials said.

After he was taken into custody, authorities say they discovered Machado had assaulted two ambulance drivers, then carjacked the ambulance that had been taking him to a mental institution in Torrance.

Machado faces charges of carjacking, felony evading, hit-and-run, vehicle theft and assault on emergency personnel.


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