Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
An 83-year-old New York man checked himself out of a hospital in the middle of the night Tuesday and then allegedly stole an ambulance to get home, WNBC reported.
Donald Winkler of Merrick reportedly was unhappy with the treatment he had received after being admitted to Nassau University Medical Center last week, so at 1 a.m. Tuesday he checked himself out.
After leaving the emergency room and walking into the parking lot, Winkler noticed an ambulance with the keys in the ignition, got in and drove away, according to the Nassau County Police Department.
Police found Winkler at an area 7-Eleven and reported that he admitted he had stolen the ambulance. Police then arrested Winkler, WNBC reported.
After being taken back to Nassau University Medical Center for evaluation and treatment, Winkler was arraigned at his bedside on a charge of second-degree grand larceny.
Neighbors said they took Winkler to see a doctor because he has heart issues and was having trouble breathing. Winkler’s family advised him not to drive the car parked at his home, but he ignored their concerns because he cherishes his independence, WNBC reported.
“He’s not supposed to be driving,” a neighbor named Marie told WNBC. “There’s a car in the driveway, but his children told me they told him, do not drive. I guess he wanted to get home that bad.”
Authorities said the medic who left the ambulance with the keys in the ignition will be held responsible but that it is common to leave the vehicle running after dropping off a patient.