Naked man steals ambulance, crashes into Winnipeg cultural centre

Click to play video: 'Naked man steals ambulance in Winnipeg'
Naked man steals ambulance in Winnipeg
In video obtained by Global News, a naked man believed to be on meth causes a disturbance on the street and then steals a Winnipeg ambulance. – May 29, 2020

A naked man stole an ambulance Friday morning before crashing the emergency vehicle into a cultural centre about a block later.

According to a credible source, medical personnel were in the West End when they came across a man believed to be on meth and needing help. When they stopped their ambulance and got out, the man, who was not dressed, managed to get in the ambulance and drive away.

The driver then crashed the vehicle into the wall of the Portuguese Cultural Centre on Young Street.

Fire paramedic Chief John Lane confirmed most of those details Friday.

He said the man threatened paramedics, who then pressed their emergency button to call police. Very shortly after, the ambulance was stolen and crashed.

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Click to play video: 'Winnipeg officials provide details after naked man drives stolen ambulance into cultural centre'
Winnipeg officials provide details after naked man drives stolen ambulance into cultural centre

“We’re very grateful that nobody suffered any — that none of the crews, none of the public, apart from the individual — suffered any injury in this incident,” said Lane.

The man is recovering and getting help, he added.

Police and a tow truck on scene Friday at the Portuguese Cultural Centre. Submitted

Asked about recent thefts of first responder vehicles in past, he said there are methods to prevent these things from happening.

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“Yes, there are safeguards in place,” said Lane, adding that he wouldn’t go into details.

“This call, first of all, the crew happened upon it, second of all, it deteriorated within 70 seconds,” he said.

“The primary concern of that ambulance crew was that patient that they observed.”

Lane would not confirm if the man was taking methamphetamine, citing privacy rules.

While it’s not ideal to have a unit taken out of commission, especially during a pandemic, there is a spare pool for when ambulances break down, said Lane.

Clean up begins near the Portuguese Cultural Centre Friday. Abigail Turner/Global News

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