Maryland man charged for stealing ambulance, string of hit-and-runs in Arlington

A Virginia State Police trooper was struck multiple times by a stolen ambulance. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
A Prince George’s County, Maryland, man has been charged after allegedly stealing an Arlington County ambulance and leading police on a chase filled with hit-and-run collisions into the District last Saturday.

On Monday, Darell Caldwell, 30, of Brandywine, stood before a D.C. Superior Court where he was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle in a crime and evading the police, among other charges.

Before stealing the ambulance, Caldwell was driving a truck he stole in Falls Church, Virginia, when police say he caused a two-vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 66 at around 3:40 p.m. He fled the scene of the crash before crashing the truck again in the northbound lanes of Interstate 395 near exit 10 and fleeing on foot.

He then carjacked a blue Chevrolet Silverado on the George Washington Parkway at Gravelly Point Park from a man who was pulled over and loading electric scooters into the trunk, according to court documents. Caldwell attempted to run the man over by backing into him multiple times before striking a tree and driving onto a cycling trail.

Caldwell then drove onto oncoming traffic in the northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, striking a van and mounting the center median.

While Arlington County fire officials were responding to the crash, Caldwell stole the attending ambulance and drove southbound toward Crystal City. That’s when medics waved down a state trooper at the scene to stop the ambulance, police said.

“During the course of the pursuit, the stolen ambulance struck multiple vehicles and again rammed the trooper’s patrol car. At this time, state police have accounted for and are investigating 13 hit-and-run crashes committed by the stolen ambulance,” the department said.

He led the trooper on a pursuit into D.C. where he hit another vehicle at the 14th Street Bridge.

No serious injuries were reported following the crashes.

While in custody, officials claim he stopped breathing and had to be administered Narcan to regain consciousness. Caldwell is currently in custody of the U.S. Park Police and receiving care at George Washington University Hospital. He is being held without bond.

Caldwell is also facing charges in Virginia over other incidents including shoplifting, pick-pocketing and possessing drugs, according to court records.

The Washington Post reports that Caldwell pleaded not guilty on Monday. WTOP has reached out to D.C. courts to confirm that reporting.

His next hearing is scheduled for Friday.

WTOP’s Shayna Estulin, Dana Sukontarak and Ivy Lyons contributed to this report. 

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Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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