IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State Police officials announced Monday the identify of the person who’s accused of stealing an ambulance in Utica and driving it into Irondequoit Bay Sunday.
Police say 32-year-old Vanessa Armstead, from Buffalo, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree, criminal trespass in the third degree, and two counts of criminal mischief in the second degree.
State police, along with the Utica Police Department, continue to investigate.
Utica police officials say the ambulance was stolen from an open garage bay at Kunkel Ambulance around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Officials say state police assisted with the Utica Police Department after the ambulance was stolen, adding that it was located on the Thruway, but the vehicle’s operator refused to comply with police.
Authorities say troopers later located the stolen ambulance on I-490 westbound and attempted to stop the vehicle when the driver exited the highway at Culver Road. Police say the driver again refused to comply with police.
The stolen ambulance was later located by police after it entered Irondequoit Bay off Seneca Road.
Police say the ambulance operator was able to swim to a private vessel and was then taken into custody by police.
The Monroe Count Sheriff’s dive team was called in to help retrieve the submerged ambulance.
Police say Armstead suffered minor injuries in a motor vehicle accident Saturday, was treated at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica and then was released.
Armstead is currently being held at the Monroe County Jail on $3,500 bail.
In addition to the aforementioned charges announced by state police, Utica police say Armstead will also be charged with third degree burglary and second degree grand larceny.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.