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Mass. man attacks hospital staff, EMS crew, steals ambulance

Harrison Barjolo crashed an Ashburnham ambulance at Heywood Hospital during a police pursuit

By David Cifarelli

GARDNER, Mass. — After attacking staff and stealing an ambulance from a Central Massachusetts hospital, a 21-year-old man led a police chase Wednesday night only to crash at the same hospital from which he stole the vehicle.

The Ashburnham Fire Department said that a man was trying to break into the emergency room at Heywood Hospital in Gardner around 5:40 p.m. on Nov. 29.

The man, later identified as Harrison Barjolo, 21, of Spencer by Gardner police, was said to have assaulted staff and another person, according to the fire department. Ashburnham EMS stepped in, at which point Barjolo also assaulted them, got into an ambulance and started driving away, the department said.

Police tried to stop Barjolo by pulling him over, but he refused and a pursuit ensued. While trying to avoid officers, Barjolo hit another vehicle, Gardner police said. At that point, more vehicles joined in the chase.

Barjolo eventually drove back to Heywood Hospital where he crashed into the pylons outside the ambulance bay, Gardner police said. He then ran into the emergency room where he was arrested, according to police.

The Ashburnham Fire Department said no serious injuries were reported during the incident, but the ambulance sustained serious damage.

Gardner, Ashburnham, Hubbardston, Rutland and Massachusetts State Police all helped in pursuing and arresting Barjolo, the department added. Authorities believe there is no longer a threat to the public.

Barjolo is facing the following charges:

  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • Failure to stop for police, operating to endanger
  • Leaving the scene of a property damage accident
  • Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident
  • Assault and battery on an elder
  • Assault and battery on ambulance personnel
  • Simple assault and battery
  • Other motor vehicle charges

Police said the investigation is ongoing and could lead to more charges.

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