Sortland back in court after allegedly stealing ambulance
FORT COLLINS — A Battle Mountain High School grad was back in court Friday after he allegedly stole an ambulance while on drugs.
Stefan Sortland, 18, is a student at Colorado State University. He’s charged with motor vehicle theft and assaulting two correctional deputies in the Larimer County jail booking area.
WHAT POLICE SAY HAPPENED
Sortland allegedly left drove away from a CSU building in a Poudre Valley Hospital EMS ambulance, police say. It’s the first time in 30 years an ambulance has been stolen, the hospital said in a written statement.
Ambulances are usually left unlocked with keys in the ignition so EMT personnel can have the quickest response time possible. They don’t usually expect the vehicles to be stolen, the hospital said.
Loveland police say paramedics drove the ambulance to a medical call on CSU’s campus. While paramedics were inside a building treating an intoxicated CSU student for seizures, the ambulance was stolen.
Sortland allegedly drove the ambulance 13 miles from Fort Collins to Loveland.
The ambulance was equipped with GPS, technology that makes it fairly easy to track. Loveland police officers found the ambulance parked perpendicular to the road, where it had come to rest after being driven into a concrete barricade.
The engine was damaged and leaking fluid, and the ambulance had to be towed, Loveland police said.
The ambulance was not Sortland’s only attempt at a joyride, police said. He’s accused of damaging two other vehicles while attempting to steal them, one before the ambulance ride and one after the ambulance had been wrecked.
When officers found him, Sortland was standing near the wrecked ambulance and allegedly trying to steal another vehicle. He was wearing a paramedic’s vest and had a blanket, cell phone and box of Wheat Thins crackers with him, police said.
Police shot him with a taser when he was uncooperative.
He also told police his “friends were dead, in Heaven, and had committed suicide.” Police checked on the people to whom Sortland was referring, and they were fine.
Police took him to the Larimer County Crossbar Hotel, which is where the charges of assaulting the deputies come from.
While in custody, Sortland, “stood on a bench, kicked the wall and masturbated,” according to police reports. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said that when deputies opened a cell door to give Sortland his lunch, he punched a deputy in the face. A second deputy was injured in a struggle.
Sortland has been charged with aggravated vehicle theft, obstructing EMS, reckless driving, hit-and-run, criminal mischief, attempted motor vehicle theft, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and assaulting a corrections officer.