Probation revoked for Ogden ambulance thief, judge allows second chance
OGDEN — A man who stole an Ogden Fire Department ambulance and shot at an officer with a police Taser got one more chance Wednesday to avoid prison with stern orders from a judge to complete a drug treatment and behavioral health program.
Second District Judge Jennifer Valencia revoked Mitchell Bryce May’s probation and sentenced him to spend 60 days in jail, to be released only when a bed becomes available in the Stepping Stones program.
In May, Valencia sentenced May to a suspended prison term of one to 15 years on a second-degree felony theft charge for stealing the ambulance Jan. 3. Several other charges were dismissed in a plea bargain. He was released on three years’ probation, with instructions that he undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, anger management classes, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
But he was back in the Weber County Jail on Wednesday, appearing before Valencia via video. Utah Adult Probation and Parole agents had picked him up for allegedly absconding from probation.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Letitia Toombs asked Valencia to make May’s new probationary sentence one of zero tolerance, meaning the judge next time may decide to impose the suspended prison sentence. Toombs said parole agents reported May did not report in as instructed, evaded their attempts to contact him and did not enroll in the Stepping Stones program.
On Jan. 3, an Ogden paramedic crew was treating a patient and when they went back outside, their ambulance was gone. It was found abandoned later, but firefighters had to wait for another ambulance to take the patient to the hospital.
May was arrested Jan. 12 on an unrelated domestic violence call. A probable cause statement said he resisted police and grabbed an officer’s Taser and fired it at one of the officers before he was subdued and handcuffed. At the jail, an officer noticed that May matched the description of the suspect in the ambulance theft.
“We gave him the benefit of the doubt,” Toombs said, but there have been other police calls involving May since then. “He is unaccountable and flagrantly disobedient. Mr. May is a risk. I would object to releasing him to the streets.”
She said only direct enrollment in the Stepping Stones program when a bed comes available should be allowed, adding, “His risk factors are simply too high.”
May, 29, said he tried to enroll in Stepping Stones but he had not qualified for Medicaid to pay for it. He said he now could pay for it out of pocket if necessary, with a relative’s help.
“I am not a danger,” May said. “I really love the community. I don’t want to be a scoundrel.”
“I still want you to do Stepping Stones, but your ability to do that on your own has passed,” Valencia said. “You have risk factors and your mental health concerns are still unaddressed. You’re running out of time to get there.”