Ambulances & Vehicle Ops, News

Stolen Pa. Ambulance Corralled; Man Charged

GREENSBURG, Pa.– A Manor man allegedly tried to find a faster way home after tipping a few.

Louis E. Bevilacqua, 33, of 28 S. Railroad St., was charged Tuesday with stealing a Mutual Aid ambulance shortly before 2 a.m. from outside the Sunoco convenience store on Mt. Pleasant Street in Greensburg.

He was arraigned yesterday on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while his operating privileges were suspended for drunken driving.

Police said the two attendants on the ambulance left the vehicle running in the parking lot.

“They ran into the store to get some items,” police Capt. George Seranko said.

Greensburgpolice Sgt. Chad Zucco, who was in an unmarked police vehicle, spotted the ambulance its headlights off going in the opposite direction from him on South Urania Avenue, according to court papers.

Zucco noticed the driver was not wearing a uniform, police said.

“Sgt. Zucco turned around and attempted to catch the stolen ambulance that was observed being driven by a white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt,” stated a probable cause affidavit written by Patrolman Donald Sarsfield.

Zucco, who had learned that the ambulance was being reported stolen, stopped the vehicle a few blocks away on College Avenue, near Anthony’s Hair Salon.

“Once Sgt. Zucco positioned behind the stolen ambulance with his emergency lights and siren on, the stolen ambulance stopped,” court papers said. “Inside the vehicle was the defendant, Louis Bevilacqua. He was the only person inside the ambulance.”

Sarsfield said that when he approached Bevilacqua, he could “smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on the defendant’s person.”

“He also had bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech and swayed back and forth while standing,” court papers said.

Bevilacqua was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, where he refused several times to allow blood to be drawn for blood-alcohol testing, according to court papers.

Bill Groft, operations director for the ambulance service based in Greensburg, declined to comment.

Bevilacqua’s preliminary hearing will be held before Greensburg District Judge James Albert, before whom he was arraigned.