Chicago, IL

Chicago Attorney Steals Ambulance and Leads Police on 70 mile Chase

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

A former Chicago attorney is charged after allegedly stealing an ambulance in Chinatown and leading police on a high speed chase lasting two hours
Arvell Dorsey Jr./flickr

New details have emerged about the man who stole an ambulance in Chicago Monday. According to police reports, 46-year-old Benjamin Herrington, a former attorney in Chicago, jumped from a moving Amtrak train, and then stole an ambulance in China Town with police chasing after him down highway I-55. The ambulance had been parked on the street and there was no patient inside.

The event took place around 4:30 pm Monday afternoon. After a 70 mile chase at speeds up to 80 miles an hour, one of the rear tires blew out. Herrington continued to drive without the rear tire for several miles, then abandoned the vehicle, bringing the chase to an end. Police had to chase him down on foot as he attempted to flee. Herrington was taken into custody at 6:30 pm. He was treated at an area hospital for minor injuries, which included a dog bite to the leg.

During the chase, the man was said to rant incoherently for several minutes on the radio frequency assigned to the Chicago Fire Department saying he'd previously used drugs. He appeared to have paranoid delusions, talking about how he was being sent crazy messages and claiming that he had made a complaint to the FBI.

"Even today I sent stuff that showed clearly, my phone was not [expletive] under my control," he said. "I don't know if they killed my family or if my family's dead."

Records show that Herrington has a history of legal problems, with a restraining order being filed by a former girlfriend who said he had forced her to the floor and attempted to strangle her.

As to how the ambulance theft occured, while according to Illinois law, ambulances are not allowed to be left idling if no one is in them, it's actually common practice to leave ambulances running and locked. This allows medications inside to remain at a stable temperature.

Once a prominant attorney, Herrington was reported to have lost his job in December of 2021 He lost his job in December, suffering from drug addiction and mental illness in recent years and subsequently became homeless.

Herrington's first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

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