Several Weeks After Michael Bay’s New Movie, An Ambulance Was Involved In A High-Speed Pursuit

Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Ambulance
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

After delivering the Ryan Reynolds-led 6 Underground to Netflix back in 2019, director Michael Bay turned his attention to Ambulance, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González. The action-thriller that cost way less to make than Transformers: The Last Knight follows two bank robbers who hijack an ambulance and take two first responders hostage as they’re fleeing police. Ambulance has been playing in theaters for several weeks, and now life finds itself imitating art, as a hijacked ambulance was involved in a high-speed pursuit in the Chicago area today.

At approximately 4:40 p.m. CT, a Chicago Fire Department ambulance was stolen while it was parked on a street in the 200-block of West Cermak. As reported by ABC 7 Chicago, the man who stole the ambulance fled southbound to the Stevenson Expressway while police were in pursuit, and eventually the chase moved to the 1-55 heading south. Police pursued the man for almost two hours; at around 6:20 p.m. CT, the ambulance slowed to almost a stop, and it appeared as though the man was gesturing and speaking to the police out his window, but then he took off again.

Strips laid out on the road eventually took out one of the ambulance’s back tires, but the chase continued until around 6:30 p.m. CT, when the offender stooped roughly 70 miles outside of Chicago, near Dwight, Illinois. Although the man initially got down on his knees and looked like he was going to surrender, after speaking with the police for a little bit, he attempted to flee the scene on foot and even tried flagging down a red pickup hauling a trailer, but wasn’t able to get through the passenger door. Less than a minute later, several police officers and a K-9 unit apprehended the man and took him into custody on the side of the highway near the Streator-Kankakee exit. 

It’s unclear why the suspect stole the ambulance, but officials say no one was in the back of the vehicle when it was stolen. There also isn’t any word on if any civilians or CFD personnel were injured during this event. It’s worth noting that when he exited the vehicle and tried to run from police soon after, the man was holding a backpack, but there’s no information about its contents. Ironically, the man was taken away from the scene in an ambulance.

Hopefully we’ll learn in the coming days/weeks about why this ambulance theft took place, but as wild as this was to watch happen in real time, it didn’t come anywhere close to the craziness of Michael Bay’s Ambulance. But hey, that’s the filmmaker’s bread and butter: delivering action-packed, explosive spectacles to moviegoing audiences that they know they’ll never need to worry about witnessing in real life. While Ambulance has only made $46 million worldwide off a $40 million budget, it’s been one of the more critically well-received entries in Bay’s filmography, with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars in his review.

Don’t forget to look through our Ambulance ending breakdown and continue visiting CinemaBlend for more news about this movie and Michael Bay’s other projects. Oh, and we’ll also pass along if any other high-speed chases reminiscent of blockbuster movies happen to occur in real life.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.