Carjacked ambulance, stolen firetruck used in US 31 chase


Aug. 9—ATHENS — A man remains in Limestone County Jail after authorities say he robbed a man in Athens, fled in a car, wrecked, was fought off by the driver when he tried to steal another car, stole a car from a tire shop, wrecked, fled from police in a carjacked ambulance, wrecked, eluded police on foot, stole a firetruck, wrecked, and ran on foot before being apprehended.

He was still wearing his “Stay Hustling” T-shirt when he was booked Sunday morning into Limestone County Jail.

Tyrek Dequavyious Hayes, 30, of Meridianville, faces a slew of felony charges, including for kidnapping an emergency medical technician who was on the ambulance, after a four-hour marathon beginning Saturday night and ending Sunday morning with two people injured. He is being held in jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bond.

Hayes’ escapade began, according to Athens police Chief Floyd Johnson, when police at 10:50 p.m. Friday received a report of a suspicious person in the parking lot of the Circle K on U.S. 31. Before police arrived, Johnson said, Hayes entered a vehicle and was holding the vehicle owner’s wallet, cellphone and a Cash App card as the owner left the store. The owner was able to retrieve the wallet and cellphone before Hayes ran south and got into a red sedan near Pryor Street.

Wreck 1

He drove on Pryor Street and rear-ended a vehicle being driven by a woman near Boardwalk Main Street. The injured woman, later treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital, got out of her vehicle and Hayes attempted to steal her 2008 Toyota Camry, Johnson said. The woman fought him off and Hayes ran south on Shaw Street.

Johnson said he then broke into McClary’s Tire on Hobbs Street and took the keys to a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, which he stole from the parking lot before driving it south on U.S. 31 and then coming north.

Wreck 2

He left the roadway and wrecked the Equinox near the Garrett Road intersection at Calhoun Community College.

At approximately 1 a.m., EMTs in an Athens-Limestone EMS ambulance saw the wrecked car and stopped to check on its occupant.

“The paramedic got out to check on Hayes and realized Hayes had gotten in the back of the ambulance,” Johnson said. “Thinking he was injured, she proceeded to enter the patient care compartment to render aid. Hayes managed to crawl through to the driver’s compartment and started driving north on U.S. 31.”

His next actions led to the kidnapping charge.

“Hayes took off, throwing one EMT from the ambulance and trapping the other in the rear compartment,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Wreck 3

Johnson related the next step in the saga, when Hayes allegedly wrecked the ambulance.

“When Hayes reached Martin Line Road he ran the ambulance off the road toward Swan Creek,” the chief said. “The second medic was still in the ambulance and when it stopped from the impact she jumped out and ran.”

Hayes then left the ambulance, which had nearly ended up in Swan Creek, and ran away in the creek, westbound from U.S. 31, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit tracked him through the woods, but Hayes circled back to U.S. 31.

In the meantime, the Tanner Volunteer Fire Department had come to the scene to assist with traffic control and to help the injured Athens-Limestone EMS medic.

Hayes, according to authorities, proceeded at 2:21 a.m. to steal a Tanner firetruck that was on U.S. 31 just south of Swan Creek.

Wreck 4

Law enforcement spotted him and pursued the firetruck until Hayes left the roadway at Flower Hill Way, about three-quarters of a mile south of Swan Creek.

“After traveling about a quarter-mile off road, Hayes wrecked into a thicket, where he totaled the firetruck,” according to the Sheriff’s Office statement.

Hayes then fled on foot but was apprehended by Athens police officers and Limestone deputies, the Sheriff’s Office said, and transported in another vehicle to the Limestone County Jail.

Hayes requested a court-appointed attorney, according to court records. Because some of the alleged crimes were committed in Athens and some in Limestone County, both police and the Sheriff’s Office have filed charges against Hayes.

The charges filed by Athens police:

—First-degree theft.

—Third-degree robbery (two counts).

—Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.

—Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle.

The charges filed by the Sheriff’s Office:

—Two counts of first-degree theft.

—Second-degree assault.

—First-degree kidnapping.

—Reckless endangerment.

—Attempting to elude law enforcement.

—Marijuana possession.

Hayes is also facing Madison County charges from an arrest last year for marijuana possession.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree marijuana possession in Jackson County in 2017. Hayes was referred to drug court but, after failing alcohol and drug tests, was removed from the program in 2019 and sentenced to five years in prison.

In July 2020, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted him parole on the condition that he enroll in the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility before release, and that he have a drug assessment after release. or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.