By Jennifer Glickel
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A Washington Heights man barricaded himself inside of an FDNY ambulance and allegedly said he was armed with a gun on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.
The man, who witnesses describe as a twenty-something living at 190th Street and Audubon Avenue, called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance, saying he was feeling ill.
When paramedics put the man into the ambulance, he started shouting that he had a gun and was going to shoot, according to witnesses.
"There was a driver in the front of the ambulance and a technician in back with the patient and when the patient threatened them with the gun he didn't have, they retreated from the vehicle and called the police," a Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital EMT who responded to the call for police backup told DNAinfo.
NYPD Emergency Services, FDNY, and additional ambulances arrived on the scene and taped off a two-block radius around the ambulance in which the patient barricaded himself on 189th Street and Audubon Avenue.
"I opened the door to see what was going on and the police and SWAT team were right out front telling us to go back inside immediately," said Sherryanne Martinez, 26, who works on the corner at which the ambulance was parked.
Police entered the ambulance and determined that the man was unarmed, according to the EMT. They negotiated with him for about 15 minutes before drawing him out of the ambulance and placing him in handcuffs.
"Police did a thorough search of the vehicle after cuffing the patient to make sure there wasn't a discarded weapon," the EMT said.
The man was placed in another ambulance and transported to Columbia-Presbyterian for a psychiatric evaluation.