A pair of convicted felons with extensive arrest records was arrested early Saturday on a variety of charges including grand theft and burglary.
James Keith Gilliam Jr. and Tara Michelle Reed were booked into the Sarasota County Jail where they are being held without bond.
According to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office report deputies were dispatched to the 3500 block of Bahia Vista St. in response to a disturbance call. Witnesses reported seeing a man and a woman – later identified as Gilliam Jr. and Reed – involved in a physical altercation.
A responding unit found the suspects sitting in a vehicle. As deputies approached they observed the pair engaged in criminal activity and asked both of them to exit the vehicle.
Reed, 26, compiled with the request but Gilliam Jr., 32, jumped into the driver seat, started the car up and sped away. The deputies had to take evasive action to avoid being hit by the fleeing suspect.
A short time later Gilliam Jr. crashed into a marked SCSO patrol vehicle. He jumped out of his damaged vehicle and fled on foot as did Reed.
Both managed to avoid capture for several hours as deputies searched high and low for the suspects. A preliminary investigation revealed Reed and Gilliam Jr. were suspected of burglarizing a residence on Ashton Rd. in Sarasota on Friday morning.
Inside the crashed vehicle deputies found items taken from that burglary. Authorities caught up with the suspects in the 2700 block of Bay St. near Tuttle Ave. Gilliam Jr. was taken into custody but not before a deputy had to use a taser to subdue him.
Reed gave up without incident.
Gilliam Jr. was found to be in possession of several other items taken from the home on Ashton Rd. Reed had on her several controlled substances.
Because he was involved in a crash and was tasered, Gilliam Jr. was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation. During his stay at the hospital he pretended to be unconscious and even though he was handcuffed managed to flee the hospital.
He ran several blocks before officers with the Sarasota Police Department caught up with him in the 1900 block of Hibiscus St.
Gilliam Jr., who was released from state prison in June, is facing burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and escape charges.
Reed, who had absconded from felony probation earlier this year, is facing similar charges plus a violation of probation count and drug charges.
Additional charges are expected to be filed against the pair as the investigation continues.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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