Deputy Chases Burglary Suspect Through Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Burglary suspect crashes car into deputy's patrol car, fled, was later caught, and then escaped from Sarasota Memorial Hospital before being captured a third time.

A couple suspected in a burglary are facing multiple charges after crashing a car into a sheriff's deputy cruiser, fleeing authorities at the scene and trying to run away from Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 3500 block of Bahia Vista street at 3 a.m. Saturday for a physical altercation between a man and a woman and found James Gilliam, 32 and Tara Reed, 26, involved in an altercation in their car and asked them to exit the car, according to the sheriff's office. 

Reed got out of the driver's side, but Gilliam refused to get out, jumped into the driver's seat, started up the car, and sped off, causing deputies to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, according to the sheriff's office. Gilliam's car crashed into a sheriff's deputy patrol car, and then Gilliam fled on foot, prompting Reed to flee as well, according to the sheriff's office. 

During the investigation, deputies learned the car was suspected to be part of a residential burglary Friday morning in the 3300 block of Ashton Road. Inside the car, deputies found most of the items reported stolen in the burglary, according to the sheriff's office.

A four-hour search ensued for the suspects, and at 7:30 a.m., Reed and Gilliam were spotted in the 2700 block of Bay Street off of Tuttle Avenue. The duo fled again in different directions, and Gilliam was Tasered and captured while Reed was arrested without incident.

While searching Reed and Gilliam, deputies found that Gilliam had additional stolen property from the reported burglary, and Reed had drugs on her, according to the sheriff's office. 

Gilliam was transported to Sarasota Memorial to be examined because he was injured during the Tasering, had been involved in the crash and was suspected of being under the influence of narcotics, according to the sheriff's office.

Gilliam had faked semi-consciousness during medical procedures, managed to escape from a restroom while being handcuffed, sprinting down hospital hallways with a deputy pursuing him, according to the sheriff's office.

Gilliam managed to exit the hospital at 12:02 p.m. Saturday, ran several blocks before being caught by Sarasota Police Department officers in the 1900 block of Hibiscus Street.


Gilliam faces the following charges:

  • Burglary of an unoccupied residence
  • Grand theft
  • Resisting arrest (twice)
  • Aggravated assault on law enforcement officers (twice)
  • Escape

Reed faces the following charges:

  • Burglary of an unoccupied residence
  • Grand theft
  • Resisting arrest (twice)
  • Violation of probation
  • Possession of controlled substances 

The Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations section is looking to see if the two are connected with any other incidents and expect additional charges to be filed. 

Gilliam is being held without bond for his escape and aggravated assault charges. His remaining bond charges total $10,750, according to the Sheriff's Office website.

No bond amount is available for Reed, but she was also booked into Sarasota County Jail, according to the sheriff's office.

Lisa Ledwith December 02, 2012 at 09:02 AM
Sarasota, be alert, be watchful, report any thing that doesn't seemright or normal. Be careful when out day and night, PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings... seriously, don't be a fool, it is not worth it. If it feels bad, it most likely is bad... call 911. Watch out for your neighbors, we watch out for you! Times are bad, really bad, and tis the season to get worse lets give a hand to our Law inforcement officers. Help them to help keep us all safe. For everyone one of them, there are hundreds of us! Have a safe Holidays season.


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