Late Saturday night — in the wee hours of Sunday morning, really — a student at Virginia Commonwealth University stole an ambulance and took it for a brief joyride during a drunken celebration of his 21st birthday.
The theft occurred outside VCU Medical Center. The alleged wasted ambulance crook was Ryan Kovacik. reports local CBS affiliate WTVR.
Kovacik is a pre-med major at VCU and, as it happens, a certified emergency medical technician.
Emergency personnel with Lakeside Rescue had parked the emergency vehicle at the medical facility near the school’s campus in Richmond, Va. They were inside wrapping up a report about a patient.
When the four workers walked back outside, the ambulance was gone.
“At that point, it was partially surprise, and partially: this can’t be happening,” one of the first responders, Andy Inge, told WTVR.
The next thing that happened was that a dispatcher was able to contact Kovacik on the two-way radio in the ambulance.
“The conversation was, ‘Hey we know you have it, please bring it back or stop where you are,’ and the person apparently responded,” Inge told the CBS station.
Medical personnel say that conversation did actually convince Kovacik to bring back the ambulance.
“He was actually returning it to the building,” Inge said. “He was en route to the building when Henrico police spotted him based on a be-on-the-lookout report.”
Police then arrested Kovacik. He spent Sunday languishing in jail. He was released pursuant to a bond after his arraignment Monday. The charges against the would-be doctor are possession of stolen property and driving under the influence of alcohol.
In addition to criminal charges, Kovacik faces possible punishment by VCU school officials.
A similar incident occurred just a few months ago — in October — when a Colorado State University student attended a Halloween concert, ingested cocaine and the party drug “molly,” found an ambulance at a dorm and drove off with it, wrecked the ambulance and then, at the police station, “stood on a bench, kicked the wall, and masturbated.” (RELATED: Drug-Addled Colorado State Student Steals Ambulance, Crashes, Masturbates Furiously In Police Station)