HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Virginia Commonwealth University student was charged with DUI and possession of stolen property after police said he stole an ambulance from the VCU Medical Center Sunday. Ryan Kovacik, a 21-year-old certified EMT, got behind the wheel of the ambulance drunk after celebrating his 21st birthday, police said.
"I did not believe this would ever happen to me," Andy Inge, Vice President of Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad, said.
Inge added he has seen a lot in his 15 years as a first responder, but in the early hours of April 12, he and his three colleagues experienced a first following a transport to the VCU Medical Center. Lakeside Rescue personnel were inside the hospital finishing their patient's report when they walked out to their surprise their ambulance was missing.
"At that point, it was partially surprise, and partially: this can't be happening," Inge said.
Dispatch, to their surprise, got in touch with Kovacik on the ambulance's two-way radio.
"The conversation was, 'Hey we know you have it, please bring it back or stop where you are' and the person apparently responded," said Inge. "Kind of surprised that he was actually returning it to the building, he was en route to the building when Henrico Police spotted him based on a be on the lookout report."
Kovacik spoke to WTVR CBS 6 in 2012 when he was a finalist in a football throwing contest for a shot at a college scholarship.
Kovacik was released on bond in Henrico County after his arraignment Monday morning. In addition to the driving under the influence and possession of stolen property in Henrico, VCU Police charged him with Grand Larceny. Kovacik will be arraigned in Richmond Friday, April 17. The case has been transferred to VCU student affairs for possible disciplinary action.