Man steals SAFD truck, goes on wild, destructive ride, SAPD says

Man on scooter nearly hit, cars damaged

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A man who police said stole a San Antonio Fire Department vehicle Thursday morning and went on a wild, destructive ride downtown could face a long list of charges.

San Antonio police said a paramedic crew had left the F-150 pickup truck running while they treated a patient inside a business near the corner of North St. Mary's and Houston streets.

Police said a man walked up to the idling pickup truck shortly before 8 a.m. and climbed into the driver's seat.

"He took off," said Police Chief William McManus. "He drove around the block, or halfway around the block, then came back and was confronted by two EMS personnel."

Instead of stopping, the man barged through the area, hitting several other vehicles in the process, according to witnesses.

"I heard the noise. He hit my car and he ran away," said Mohammad Saed, whose minivan was rear-ended. "I thought it was the city, but when I asked, they said somebody stole the truck."

Saed said the damage to his vehicle was minimal.

But for Juan DeLeon, it was a bit more of a headache.

The sedan he bought just three days ago lost its front bumper and took a hard hit to the back one.

"Hopefully, the insurance will pay for it. I haven't even reported to my insurance that I just bought it," DeLeon said.

Another man suffered what appeared to be an injury to his arm when he dodged the oncoming truck. He was riding a scooter in Southtown at the time, and the pickup truck plowed right over it.

Police chased the stolen truck for miles, south of downtown and then onto Interstate 35 north.

The wild ride finally came to an end on the far Northeast Side after the driver sideswiped an 18-wheeler on the highway near The Forum shopping center.

Police said the driver put up a fight but was eventually arrested.

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