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Inmate tried to grab deputy's gun in escape attempt, Hillsborough sheriff says

BRANDON — He tried to run in September.

Three St. Petersburg police officers were putting robbery suspect Jackie Allen Randall Jr. in a cruiser headed for jail when they said he bolted but got caught a block away.

He tried again Tuesday.

Hillsborough County deputies said his plan was more advanced. But he and two deputies got injured in a struggle to stop him.

Randall, 28, of Temple Terrace, complained that he had a condition that didn't allow him to walk, said Sheriff David Gee.

He was evaluated by a doctor at the jail, who recommended further evaluation.

So two deputies took Randall to the Bloomingdale Radiology Center, 3350 Bell Shoals Road, at 3 p.m. As he was taken back to the transport van, he hopped from his wheelchair and ran.

"He was prepared," Gee said.

Randall was wearing butler chains — restraints that connect the hands and feet to a chain around the waist — so he made it only a short distance.

When the deputies caught up to him, Randall reached for one of their guns and ripped the holster. That's when one of the deputies pulled out a baton and hit Randall on the head, Gee said.

The struggle went to the ground, where the deputies subdued the inmate until help arrived.

In 2000, Randall was sentenced to 10 years in prison on robbery and cocaine possession charges. He was released three days after Christmas last year, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

St. Petersburg police arrested him Sept. 3 and charged him with robbing a Circle K that day and snatching a woman's purse May 28. He was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

They said Randall was a suspect in several robberies around Tampa Bay in the past two months. Family members identified him from surveillance videos, and witnesses got a description and partial plate of his mother's vehicle, arrest reports show.

During the time of those robberies, Randall was the driver of a Jeep that killed a pedestrian in Pinellas County, records show.

Jesse-James Redmond, 22, was crossing the intersection of Ulmerton Road and 34th Way N on July 14, the Florida Highway Patrol said. He was struck and killed by a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling west.

Investigators identified Randall, then living in Pinellas Park, as the driver. Troopers had not filed any charges in the accident.

More than a month after the Sept. 3 St. Petersburg arrest and escape attempt, Randall was transferred to the Hillsborough County Jail on Oct. 8 to be arraigned on a new robbery charge, said Deputy Larry McKinnon, a sheriff's spokesman.

During Tuesday's escape attempt, Randall bit Deputy David Trombley's left arm and Deputy Robert Reiniger got bruises, the Sheriff's Office said.

Both deputies, 10 year veterans of the office, were treated at Brandon Regional Hospital and released.

Trombley, 42, is assigned to the transportation unit. Reiniger, 44, works at the Falkenburg Road Jail.

Randall was taken to Tampa General Hospital with a head injury and was expected to be released late Tuesday. He will be placed in isolation when he returns to jail, McKinnon said.

He is charged with escape, two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, two counts of felony battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving a law enforcement officer of his protection, resisting a law enforcement officer with violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Gee said losing a gun to a suspect is a situation authorities worry about.

They sometimes ask themselves: "Am I loading it for me, or am I loading it for the guy who will take it away from me?" Gee said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Inmate tried to grab deputy's gun in escape attempt, Hillsborough sheriff says 10/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:30am]
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