Maryland Firefighter With MMA Experience Thwarts Patient Trying to Steal Ambulance With Knife

A patient who tried to steal an ambulance from a Maryland hospital last week was foiled by a firefighter with professional mixed martial arts training.

“Everybody wants to fight until they have a fight,” Montgomery County firefighter Diego Peclat said.

Before Peclat was fighting fires, he was fighting opponents in more than 40 professional MMA fights.

On July 28, 27-year-old Christopher Broadus was a patient at Washington Adventist Hospital when he tried to steal an ambulance, according to Takoma Park police.

Peclat was nearby.

“The guy went and opened the car door, and I go, ‘Oh man here you go,’” Peclat said.

Broadus started waving a knife, police said.

“I squared off with him, like, ‘Hey, you want to put that knife away. You don’t want to do that. It’s going to get pretty bad for you,’” Peclat said.

The two tussled at the front entrance, and Peclat got the upper hand, walking away with minor cuts.

He said he wasn’t afraid.

“I was close to the hospital,” he said. “It’s fine, you know. If he stabbed me one time, it’s alright, I will be right there. They could help me. I was close to the hospital.”

Broadus is charged with first-degree assault. His motive for trying to take the ambulance is unclear.

Peclat said firefighters do get attacked.

“We’re here to help people,” he said. “We go to their home when they’re having their worst day. You would think they’d be nice to us, but it’s not always like that.”

Peclat prefers fighting fires, but he said if others are in danger, he won’t hesitate to intervene.

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