Man who drove stolen Chicago Fire Department ambulance downstate pleads guilty to a misdemeanor

Benjamin Herrington | ISP; CWBChicago

An attorney who allegedly stole a Chicago Fire Department ambulance in Chinatown last year and then led police on a 75-mile chase to downstate Dwight, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, according to Grundy County court records.

On Thursday, Benjamin Herrington, 46, entered a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass to a vehicle. He had been charged with felony counts of aiding or abetting the possession of a stolen motor vehicle and criminal damage.

In April 2022, officials said Herrington jumped from an Amtrak train shortly after it left Chicago Union Station and eventually wound up at a fire station in the 200 block of West Cermak in Chinatown.

Surveillance video showed CFD ambulance #66 sitting outside the firehouse when a man climbed behind the wheel and drove away. After taking the rig, he made lengthy transmissions on a fire department radio frequency that suggest that he was experiencing paranoid thoughts.

A source with knowledge of fire department operations told CWBChicago last year that fire department personnel frequently park ambulance #66 on the street because the Chinatown firehouse is usually filled with other rigs.

Grundy County Judge Scott Belt sentenced Herrington to 180 days in jail, which he already served, plus 24 months conditional discharge. Herrington must also pay the Chicago Fire Department $7833.44 restitution, according to court records.

Herrington’s LinkedIn profile detailed a nearly 20-year career as an attorney, mostly at major law firms. The profile shows Herrington shifting to be the co-founder of a company in 2019.

His mother told WGN last year that Herrington called her as he drove the ambulance to say he was trying to get to her home in St. Louis so he could get help with an addiction problem and mental health issues.

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