Police: drunken Athens man stole ambulance to go Christmas shopping

- A man remains in the Clarke County jail after police said he stole an ambulance while intoxicated.

Walter Campbell, 40, was arrested Monday afternoon.

According to Athens-Clarke County Police, a mechanic at North Georgia Medical Transport located on South Milledge Avenue called 911 to report a man driving off in one of the company's vehicles.  The mechanic had been working on the ambulance, police said, and stepped away for a few minutes.

"He was servicing one of the ambulances, walked away for a short period of time and could hear the rear beeping sounds as if the ambulance was backing up,” explained police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez.

The mechanic yelled at the man to stop and police said Campbell got out and started to walk away until police arrived. Officers said Campbell was extremely cooperative with the investigation.

"He said he was going to go Christmas shopping. He's got some Christmas money. He wanted to go Christmas shopping and he didn't want to walk," said one of the responding officers captured on body camera video.

Campbell also appears on the video and admits to drinking before allegedly taking the ambulance. Police said Campbell had an open beer in his hand when they got on scene.

"How many beers to do you think you had to drink today?" one officer asked.

"That's my third one," Campbell responded.

Campbell faces multiple charges including felony theft by taking, DUI and open container.

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