A fire truck stolen from the UCI Medical Center in Orange was returned to his garage on Tuesday morning.
According to video footage, a man chased police along freeways and side streets in several Orange County cities after picking up a vehicle at around 1:40 a.m. The vehicle is only a little bad for wear.
“From what happened during the search, there was some minor damage to the body,” said Captain Greg Barta of the Orange County Fire Authority. “I’m not sure what killed him.”
Barta said the truck was parked at the medical center after firefighters brought a patient for treatment. When the truck made a sudden move, its captain and engineer were behind the vehicle to retrieve some equipment.
It was not clear on Tuesday where the man had come from. Barta said firefighters never saw the man as soon as the truck landed. And they had not seen him in the area before the vehicle theft.
Police followed the truck until around 3 a.m., when the driver stopped in Anaheim.
A homeless man parked directly in front of the truck, his arms outstretched, forcing the driver to stop, video footage onscene.tv shows.
“I thought he was like one of my kids,” the man later told the videographer. “Someone who has made a bad mistake.”
He said he did not want to see the driver get hurt.
Eventually, after much effort by the police, the driver got down from the truck and surrendered.
Several police agencies had no information about the arrest: neither Garden Grove nor UCI police officials have returned a request for comment on Tuesday.