DuBOIS – A Clearfield man is in custody after stealing an ambulance yesterday and leading police on a chase.
Matthew David Wilsoncroft, 38, was charged by Sandy Township police with two counts of aggravated assault, felony theft, and misdemeanor counts of fleeing or attempting to elude police, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and driving under the influence with several summaries in connection with his actions on June 20.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed at the district magistrate in DuBois today, the police became involved in Wilsoncroft’s activities after a witness called 911 to report a man approached him at a local restaurant saying the Russians were trying to kill him. The man then walked away toward DuBois.
While responding to this call, officers saw a man matching the description of the suspect walking “with a staggered gait” on Liberty Boulevard.
One of the officers approached him and identified himself as a police officer. The man took off running down the middle of the travel lane.
When an officer eventually caught up with him, the man, identified as Wilsoncroft was sweating profusely, paranoid, and did not believe the officer was an actual police officer. At this point, they called an emergency medical service unit to examine him.
Wilsoncroft was transported to Penn Highlands DuBois where shortly after, Wilsoncroft reportedly stole an ambulance and drove away.
A few minutes later another DuBois EMS unit flagged down an officer near the Penn State Campus saying they saw the ambulance now traveling north on State Route 255. They reported that the ambulance had almost struck their unit.
The ambulance was located traveling on Bee Line Highway and a marked police unit activated their siren and lights in an attempt to stop it.
Instead the vehicle continued on as additional police joined the chase.
When the lead police car tried to pass the ambulance, Wilsoncroft allegedly attempted to push it off the roadway and when it got in front of him, tried to rear end it. He did the same thing with a second police vehicle that tried the same maneuver.
Spike strips were deployed at the head of the chase near Sher De Lin Road, causing the tires of the ambulance to deflate.
The ambulance slowed down but went into the opposite lane of travel, which forced three vehicles in that lane to the shoulder of the highway to avoid a head on collision, according to the criminal complaint.
One of the police cars was reportedly rear ended by the ambulance resulting in the ambulance becoming disabled just past Mountain Run Road.
An officer tried to take him into custody, but Wilsoncroft refused his commands and initially ran away from the officer.
Police said as officers tried to get Wilsoncroft to put his hands behind his back, Wilsoncroft kicked and threw his arms around.
It was determined Wilsoncroft was under the influence of a drug or a combination of drugs and his driver’s license had been suspended.
In the criminal complaint, the arresting officer states “I respectfully request that the defendant not be released because he poses a threat to other persons and himself.”
Wilsoncroft is being held in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.