The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

March 29, 2013

Police: Man charged after stealing ambulance

Five cars damaged in early-morning morning incident on Main Street

ANDERSON, Ind. — The last thing anyone in the 1700 block of Main Street expected Friday was a 4 a.m. wake-up call caused by a city ambulance crashing into their cars.

“All we heard was a big boom and everybody ran out of their houses,” said Ashley Brooks.

What they found outside was like something out of a movie chase scene. Smashed cars were strewn about, and an Anderson Fire Department ambulance was stuck in a yard, its driver still trying to make a getaway.

He didn’t, though.

Joseph L. Sandlin, 27, of Anderson was arrested after stealing an ambulance and crashing into five parked cars, according to the Anderson Police Department.

Sandlin was booked into the Madison County Jail on preliminary charges of theft of a motor vehicle, a Class C felony, OWI/drugs, a Class A misdemeanor, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, a class B misdemeanor, and operator never licensed, a class C misdemeanor. Sandlin was also wanted on a warrant out of Anderson City Court for domestic battery.  

About 4 a.m. Friday, Anderson Fire Department Medic 1 responded to a call at the Delaware Court Apartments, 120 W. 10th St. While medics were attending to their patient, Sandlin jumped into the unattended ambulance and drove it to Main Street, where he crashed into five parked cars, causing significant property damage to the ambulance and to the cars, according to APD spokesman Detective Joel Sandefur.

“My mom’s car looks like a sardine can,” Brooks said.

Dawn Wilson’s 1996 Buick Park Avenue was in mint condition and her lifeline.

“By the time he was finished with my car, it was a half-block down the street with no glass left and the tires all off it,” said the disabled Anderson resident, who relied on it to carry her to doctor appointments.

Richard Hendrickson, who lives next door to Wilson was also awakened by the crash. His car and one his girlfriend uses for work was also damaged.

“It happened so fast it was like Santa Claus on a bad morning,” Hendrickson said.

Officers responding to the call found Sandlin sitting in the driver’s seat of the ambulance.

When officers placed Sandlin into custody, they observed signs of intoxication, noted Sandefur.

Sandlin was asked if he had been drinking. He told officers that he had not been drinking, but had taken hydrocodone and several other pills, including bath salts. Sandlin was transported to a local hospital for testing.

When the arresting officer asked him why he had stolen the ambulance, Sandlin stated that “he took it because he wanted to find a police car and wreck into it so that we would shoot him,” according to a police department press release.  

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0420 - egg drop - 30.jpg Helicopter aids in Easter egg drop

    Four months of planning was gone in about one minute on the Lapel football field Saturday as The River Church held its third annual Easter egg drop. Church pastor Tyson Priest found out more than 22,000 plastic eggs don’t last long when hundreds of local children are racing to pick them up as quickly as possible. But he didn’t seem to mind.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Former Elks building being reborn Just months after it closed, the former Anderson Elks Lodge could be reopening as a banquet hall and catering service. The Anderson Plan Commission on Tuesday will consider a rezoning request from James D. Sargent and Nettie Cox to rezone the building from residential to industrial use.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Funderburk - 04 Man tries to restore father's tainted legacy When news broke earlier this month that the Anderson Dental Clinic had been shut down and several employees, including owner Sally Metzner, had been arrested, Mark Funderburk's main concern was the patients. "A lot of them kept going there because of my dad even after he passed away," he said. "And they didn't deserve this."

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wagons for Warriors asks for donations

    The Pendleton American Legion post is accepting donations for a project called Wagons for Warriors.

    April 19, 2014

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0420 - FEMA Kokomo Flooding 03 FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders FEMA denied the state’s request to declare a “major disaster” after tornadoes swept Indiana last November, despite millions of dollars in damages. The decision prompted protests from Indiana’s Congressional delegation, and it stoked growing frustrations with FEMA, especially in the Midwest.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County Commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 20

    Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Friday and Saturday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 19, 2014

  • BIZ - HB0420 - Scott wise -TM Gaining an edge and spreading the word in 2014 Scott owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse with locations in Indianapolis, Muncie, Mishawaka and Bloomington, encourages business owners to interact with customers and use powerful tools such as Twitter, Facebook or even with a blog to their advantage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook