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Criminal recaptured after escaping from Lakeland hospital, Polk sheriff says

Timothy Tallmadge, 33, is now sitting in the sheriff's office jail and will pick up even more criminal charges, the agency explains.
Credit: Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Timothy Tallmadge

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Lakeland man wanted by multiple law enforcement agencies was captured Thursday only to escape from a hospital the next day. Authorities were able to recapture him three hours later, a news release from the Polk County Sheriff's Office explains.

Timothy Tallmadge, 33, is now sitting in the sheriff's office jail and will pick up even more criminal charges, the agency explains.

The incident started on Wednesday when deputies were searching for the 33-year-old. He reportedly was a person of interest in a robbery investigation and had two active warrants, a petit theft charge from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and a violation of probation for possession of weapon charge by the U.S. Marshals.

Depuities say Tallmadge ran from them that day. When law enforcement found him the next day, he tried to run again but was arrested, the sheriff's office explains.

After being taken into custody, he was taken to the hospital to be checked after he reportedly complained of pain.

While getting a checkup at Lakeland Regional Health, which required him to be unrestrained, he managed to escape, deputies say.

"Lakeland PD officers and PCSO deputies quickly established a perimeter in the area surrounding the hospital and kept him contained while tightening the perimeter," the sheriff's office explains in the release. 

Lakeland officers reportedly found the 33-year-old on Channing Road where he started to run away again. Eventually, authorities were able to catch him and arrest him for the second time before being turned over to Polk County deputies.

At the time of the first arrest, Tallmadge was arrested on two warrants, and the PCSO added additional charges of resisting and fugitive from justice. 

The new charges that stemmed from his alleged escape include: 

  • Escape
  • Resisting
  • Three counts of occupied burglary (for trying to hide on private property while fleeing)
  • Two counts of felony petit theft (for stealing a hospital gown from the hospital and a shirt from a person’s property)

“Detectives are looking at every little thing he’s done so we can charge him for each and every crime he committed," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "This guy is a true menace to society, and we want to ensure that he gets sent back to state prison for a fourth time, and hopefully he’ll stay there for quite a while. 

"We sincerely appreciate the Lakeland Police Department's rapid deployment and successful apprehension of this fleeing felon.”

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