Owner of suspended ambulance company faces new troubles

Kenneth Lock
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Updated: .

The owner of an ambulance company called "a public danger" by the Department of Homeland Security is facing more troubles.

Kenneth Lock, who owns Samaritan Ambulance, faces new accusations and is the target of an investigation. The company was placed on a 90-day suspension by the Department of Homeland Security after failing an inspection earlier this year.

EMT Devvin Shumate couldn't answer questions about the suspension Tuesday, but said he's basically getting paid just to maintain the company's building on Enterprise Street on the east side of Indianapolis.

"Pretty much to that effect," he said.

Eyewitness News was able to obtain documents shedding new light on the problems inside Samaritan.

Violations reported by the Department of Homeland Security include fire extinguisher not mounted, single-patient use items were not individually wrapped, there were missing dispatch radios and a bad parking brake.

Although inspector Robin Stump could not talk directly about Samaritan Ambulance, she told Eyewitness News that they take ambulance service standards extremely serious. She and her counterparts are responsible for checking out more than 900 companies located throughout the state of Indiana.

A former employee, who wanted his identity concealed, feared the brakes on his ambulance would give out.

"He (Lock) said the brakes will be alright. He said they were going all the way to the floor. When we pulled over and got out we went to the rear of the ambulance and there was a puddle of brake fluid on the ground . We called Ken and his solution was to bring a bottle of brake fluid over there and keep adding brake fluid to it," he said.

Former Samaritan employee Kayla Arkenau says upkeep was always an issue.

"Ambulances didn't function correctly. Sometimes they would break down, we have things go wrong, we would be going to pick one up from the mechanics," she said.

Arkenau says she worked for Lock for several months in 2011, but resigned to go to nursing school.

In addition to failing the inspection, IMPD investigators executed a search warrant at Samaritan on February 12, confiscating an EMT badge, company records and suspected marijuana. According to a police report, the drugs were found inside a Band-Aid tin can inside Lock's office.

Police say in addition to his business, Lock is under investigation. He was arrested in 2006 for allegedly impersonating a police officer.

Eyewitness News found several police records showing officers stopped Lock for running lights and sirens unnecessarily on several occasions. Inspection reports from the Department of Homeland Security show his company must do for them to even consider reinstating the company.

Lock has not returned telephone calls made by Eyewitness News.

Schumate told Eyewitness News Tuesday afternoon that Lock is no longer visiting the company premises since the search and other troubles started earlier this month. Lock has the right to appeal the decision by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to suspend his operating certificate for 90 days.

The department has only released inspection documents and does not comment on any ongoing investigations including suspensions. Inspectors welcome any and all complaints from people who may have a bad experience on any ambulance in Indiana.

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