Chicago ambulance chase: Man seen leading officers in more than 70-mile chase, charged, Illinois State Police say

CHICAGO (WLS) — The man apparently seen leading police on a more than 70-mile chase through the Chicago area on Monday in a stolen ambulance has been identified and charged.

Benjamin K. Herrington, 46, of Chicago, has been charged with fleeing from a peace officer, resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of a stolen motor vehicle in connection of Monday’s pursuit, Illinois State Police said Tuesday morning.

Police said around 4:40 p.m. Monday that a Chicago Fire Department ambulance was parked in the 200 block of West Cermak Road in Chinatown. Police said he was picked up by a man while parked and unattended on the street outside the fire station.

During the robbery, a passerby stopped and did a double take as the driver came to a stop. Officials said no one was in the ambulance when it was stolen.

The robber fled south in Ambulance #66 on the Stevenson Highway, with police and Illinois State Police in pursuit, and eventually on I-55 toward the south in the southwestern suburbs.

At one point the police closed in on the tail and threw a rumble stick, flattening the left rear tire, but not enough to deter the driver.

Shortly before 6:20 p.m., somewhere south of Joliet, the ambulance slowed to a near stop, and the driver appeared to gesture and speak with police through the window, before suddenly driving off.

WATCH: Driver of ambulance waves stolen from police appears to be considering stopping

Strips took out the rear tire on the driver’s side of the ambulance, but the chase continued, the bare rim smoking at times. By 6:30 p.m. the ambulance had traveled nearly 80 miles southwest of town near Dwight, where the driver slowed to a stop and got out.

It briefly looked like the driver was going to surrender; he stepped over a fence divider between the freeway and the median with a backpack and got down on his knees. There appears to have been an exchange of words with police and the suspect suddenly grabbed his backpack and set off on foot, running into the northbound lanes of I-55.

WATCH: Driver arrested for stealing ambulance after police chase

There he stopped a red truck pulling a trailer and attempted to enter through the passenger door, but was unable. He was then attacked by several officers and a K-9 unit and taken into custody on the side of the highway near the Streator-Kankakee exit.

The suspect was eventually taken to an ambulance and could be seen on video arriving at Grundy County Morris Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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He was released from the hospital around 2 a.m. and taken to the Grundy County Jail, Illinois State Police said.

Herrington was then turned over to Chicago police for transport to Cook County later Tuesday, police said.

In a statement, the Chicago Fire Department said:

“We would like to thank the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police and Suburban Support Services for their professionalism and patience in the recovery of the CFD 66 ambulance.

“These officers were able to secure the ambulance and get the young man the help he needs without seriously injuring himself or members of the public.

“CFD immediately opened an internal investigation into how this incident began and we will take the necessary steps to prevent future occurrences of this type.”

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