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| Crime |

Meth and Stupidity Likely to Blame for Phoenix Man's Shirtless Ambulance Joyride

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It takes some big cojones to steal an ambulance from the scene of a fire -- or, apparently, a bloodstream filled with crystal meth, to which a Phoenix man is crediting his meth-fueled joyride in a stolen ambulance.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, 28-year-old Travis Ward was arrested yesterday after stealing an ambulance from the scene of a fire and going on a "rampage," crashing into homes and several cars in the process.

About 4 a.m. yesterday, Ward jacked an ambulance from the scene of a fire in the area of 4300 West Krall Street in Phoenix. The keys, police say, were left in the ignition.

After crashing into several cars and houses, Ward was spotted -- shirtless and behind the wheel of the ambulance -- by a patrol officer after several residents in the area called police with reports of an out-of-control emergency vehicle.

The officer pursued the out-of-control ambulance as it careened through streets near 39th Avenue and Maryland Drive until Ward -- who managed to blowout the front passenger-side tire on the ambulance, and at this point was driving on the rim -- tried to make a left turn.

Because he was driving on a tire rim, Ward had trouble making the turn, and ended up colliding with a vehicle parked in a driveway, pushing it into the front of a home.

Stuck at this point, and with police pointing guns in his face, Ward gave up.

Once in custody, Ward told officers he'd taken a lot of meth that day. He claimed he had no idea what he was doing in the ambulance, but knew he wasn't supposed to be driving it. He went on to tell officers that he didn't even know how to drive.

In total, police estimate the damage caused by Ward's rampage to be about $325,000 -- which includes damage to homes, utility poles, vehicles, and the ambulance, which costs about $250,000.

Ward was booked into Maricopa County jail on one count of auto theft, and one count of criminal damage. He's being held on $12,000 bail.

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