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Scores Held in Raid at Club; Arrests include man accused of crashing an ambulance reported stolen

HOUSTON -- An early morning drug raid at a downtown Houston nightclub netted more than 140 arrests Saturday, including that of a man who authorities said crashed a stolen ambulance into several police cars and then into a Houston Fire Department ambulance.

Officers from several Houston Police Department divisions, including vice and narcotics, were conducting an after-hours operation at the Pink Monkey nightclub, 709 Franklin, said HPD spokesman Gabe Ortiz.

After an undercover officer was served alcoholic beverages and given narcotics inside the club, Ortiz said police raided the building about 3 a.m. and detained everyone inside.

While officers were making arrests, a man driving a private ambulance reported stolen crashed into three or four police vehicles outside the club near Milam and Congress, Ortiz said. The man then continued driving down Congress and also struck a Houston Fire Department ambulance.

The man, who appeared to be intoxicated, was arrested, then taken to Ben Taub General Hospital. His injuries, as well as any charges filed against him, were unknown late Saturday night.

No other injuries were reported.

The ambulance, owned by Vista Prime EMS was reported stolen from a 24-hour Starbucks on Post Oak Boulevard near Westheimer just before 5 a.m. The ambulance driver had gone inside to get coffee, Ortiz said.

The raid and the crashes do not seem to be related and appear to be coincidental, Ortiz said.

Officers arrested 130 people on charges of public intoxication, seven on charges of distribution of a controlled substance, three on charges of possession of a controlled substance and a few others on charges of possession of marijuana, Ortiz said.

More than 500 others inside the nightclub were released without charges.

The club manger also was issued 22 citations by the Houston Fire Department and the Neighborhood Protection Corp. for fire and code violations, Ortiz said.

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