Man carjacks fire-rescue truck in Lauderhill

30-year-old suspect has criminal past and now faces attempted carjacking charges

A man scaled a 7-foot tall fence in Lauderhill and when firefighters went to see if the man needed help, he got into the truck and began to try to drive away.

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Quick-acting firefighters had to come to the rescue of one of their trucks after a man tried to carjack their vehicle. After crawling through the driver’s side window and getting into the truck, he turned on its sirens and started to back out of the driveway.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Lauderhill Rescue 30 crews were returning from an emergency around 8:44 p.m. when they saw a man, who they described as running frantically towards the fire station at 3120 Northwest 11th Place.

The man, identified as 30-year-old Freddie Ross, then scaled a 7-foot tall fence surrounding the parking lot in the back of the station. Instinctively, the crew tried to help him, but the situation quickly started to get out of control.

“He became aggressive with the crew, trying to force his way into the ambulance. He tried to open up the driver’s side door eventually crawling through the driver’s side window and over the driver,” said Assistant Chief Jeff Levy of Lauderhill Fire Rescue.

Firefighters managed to prevent a carjacking. The man who was trying to steal a Lauderhill ambulance didn't get very far.

Some of the fire crew still inside of the truck jumped out and called the police since they believed the man was safely contained inside the truck without the ability to harm them or himself.

Suddenly, the driver turned on the truck’s emergency lights and started to back out of the driveway.

“He figured out how to turn on the emergency lights and put the truck in gear, which, once that started happening, the crew was in fear for everyone else’s lives in the surrounding area,” Levy said. “Because if that ambulance would’ve gotten out of the parking lot, who knows what would’ve happened, so the crew jumped into action.”

Two firefighters made the decision that it was time to stop the man and they jumped back onto the moving truck, eventually securing it and forcing the man to the pavement. Police arrived and handcuffed Ross without incident.

No one was injured in the incident. Levy commended the actions of the firefighters.

“It was unknown what the circumstances were surrounding that gentleman but it was one of those things that the people who always help someone needed help this time. This fire crew without regard for their own safety jumped back into action when they saw that truck moving. We don’t know what would have happened.”

Ross has past criminal charges including trespassing, grand theft, and burglary. He is expected to face charges related to attempted carjacking.

Lauderdale Police said that Ross is currently under “medical care” at a local hospital.


About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.