Video: Shooting victim says he stole ambulance from Memphis hospital because they didn’t want to take him home
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A man who police say stole a Memphis fire ambulance and returned home from a hospital has been arrested after he was seen bragging about the crime in a video on social media.
Desai Billingsley, 23, is charged with theft of property over $ 250,000. He also faces a charge of violating the sex offender registry law in 2017, according to prison records.
Witnesses told police they saw a man wearing blue hospital gowns board the ambulance and remove him from the Medical District 1 Regional Hospital at around 9 a.m. Wednesday evening. It was found unoccupied about an hour and a half later at Breedlove Street and St. Charles Avenue in North Memphis.
Rodney Hughes Jr. lives in the North Memphis neighborhood. He said he was concerned when he saw an ambulance with no lights on in the street and followed it to New Chicago Park, where the driver exited.
“He got down to the streets at maybe 60-70 mph, and he kind of jumped into a hollow in the road,” Hughes said. “We were trying to make sure no one was in the back of the ambulance.”
He was shocked when he saw that the ambulance driver was actually a patient. He started recording it on his cell phone.
“I was just tripping. It was like a joke. I couldn’t believe someone actually did it, ”said Hughes.
According to authorities, paramedics assigned to the ambulance parked in the street, leaving the keys inside and the engine running because the hospital’s ambulance holds were full.
The next day, Hughes’ video began circulating on social media of the man in hospital gear exiting the ambulance with medical supplies in hand. The patient claimed he stole the ambulance to get home from the hospital after being shot.
“Dude, they didn’t want to take me home,” the man said on the video.
See the original video here. (Warning: profanity)
Police identified the man in the video as Billingsley and booked him on Friday. His address was listed on Decatur Street in Memphis, a few blocks from where the ambulance was found in the New Chicago neighborhood.
The ambulance was valued at $ 258,000 and contained over $ 100,000 of equipment and medical supplies. Police said Billingsley also took bandages, sanitary napkins and ambulance keys.
Officers noted that Billingsley was the victim of a July 11 shooting. He is now in Shelby County Jail and a hearing is scheduled for Monday.