The defense attorney for a 32-year-old Norwegian man who hijacked an ambulance earlier this week and led police on a dramatic chase around a busy residential area claims he “had no intention of harming anyone.” Now the man, who has a long criminal record, will likely be kept in jail at least for longer than ever before.
A court in Oslo ordered him held in remand custody for a minimum four weeks, with no visitors or communication from the outside. State broadcaster NRK reported that he actually was already charged with another offense in August but had been released when he crashed a car, hijacked an ambulance with a rifle and threatened pedestrians with his subsequent wild ride.
Now he faces attempted murder and other serious charges, while his defense attorney argues that he simply “panicked” after the car crash because he had weapons and narcotics in the car. He only stole the ambulance, defense attorney Øyvind Bergøy Pedersen claims, because he needed to get away. “He had no other other intentions,” Pedersen told reporters, even though his actions were frighteningly similar to those used recently by lone terrorists.
“He’s sorry about what happened,” Pedersen also claimed, as the man’s long history of drug addiction and crime emerged through the week. He was convicted for the first time, on drug charges, when he was 18, after a troubled childhood that included several stints in public institutions and foster homes.
The 25-year-old woman accompanying the man who also survived the car crash, meanwhile, has pleaded innocent to charges of weapons’ and drug possession. Her defense attorney claims she had merely snared a ride with him last Tuesday and she was not involved in the hijacking, having fled the scene of the crash. She was also ordered held in prison, however, as police continue to investigate all aspects of the drama.