RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A woman was arrested Thursday night for allegedly stealing a Riverside Fire Department truck and taking it on a joyride while first responders were handling a life-threatening medical emergency.
“Two police officers responded first, they began CPR,” Riverside police Sgt. Juan Munoz said. “They saved the man’s life.”
Munoz said that while firefighters were getting the victim, who had stopped breathing, into an ambulance, the suspect hopped inside their engine at Hole Avenue and drove it three miles away to the eastbound Adams Street off-ramp on the 91 Freeway — colliding with at least two cars along the way.
When the engine came to a stop at the off-ramp, officers said the woman attempted to get into at least two other cars.
“She said it was fun,” Munoz said. “She appears to be extremely intoxicated.”
But it was anything but fun for the on-duty Station 8 firefighters when they realized their rig was missing.
“We just walked out to the engine,” one of the firefighters said while reporting the incident. “And our engine is missing.”
The engine weighs tens of thousands of pounds and, Munoz said, was also full of water.
“Given the potential with the weight of that vehicle and how she even knew how to start it, I’m astonished that nobody else was injured,” Munoz said.
Police said the woman had a felony warrant for narcotics. She is expected to face charges of driving under the influence, vehicle theft and hit-and-run.