04-06-2017, 11:56 PM
Palestine, Texas - Palestine police have released video of a high-speed pursuit involving a man who stole an ambulance. Armando Vinaja, 18, was arrested by officers Friday. Vinaja allegedly stole an ambulance from the Palestine Regional Medical Center and led police on a chase. He is charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and evading arrest detention with a vehicle. In the video, Vinaja can be seen cheering after his arrest. In an arrest affidavit,, an officer described seeing Vinaja hanging out of the ambulance and driving at speeds of more than 100 mph. "As we pulled him out of the vehicle, he had a far away look in his eye and was screaming and yelling," the officer wrote.
Palestine police contacted the Leon County Sheriff's Office and learned that Vinaja was initially taken to the hospital after a caller reported he was driving erratically, stopped and was laying down in a ditch. Vinaja was transported to the emergency room. He then left the hospital and stole the vehicle. "Due to his erratic behaviors and blank stare on his face, I believe Vinaja is intoxicated on an unknown substance," the affidavit said. Police say the pursuit ended when Vinaja turned the ambulance east onto Park Avenue and hit a curb, causing the ambulance to become disabled. According to the affidavit, Vinaja refused field sobriety tests and had to be placed in a restraint chair at the Anderson County Jail.