Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa doctor accused of damaging medical centers

CLEARWATER — A local anesthesiologist has been arrested, accused of threatening former co-workers at Morton Plant Hospital and breaking windows at medical centers in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Dr. Benjamin Sanchez, 46, showed up at the anesthesiology building at Morton Plant on Wednesday and threatened the employees, according to Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. She said his presence at the hospital violated an injunction.

Sanchez left before police arrived, but he showed up Thursday and used a pipe to break some windows at the hospital, Watts said. Again, Sanchez left before police arrived.

That same day across the bay, Sanchez was spotted by surveillance cameras using a metal pipe to break a window at 14547 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., the address listed for the Florida Medical Clinic, according to deputies.

On Friday afternoon, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office went to Sanchez's home on Broadoak Drive in Tampa to arrest him.

When Sanchez saw the deputy pull up, he ran inside the house and refused to come out, according to the Hillsborough arrest report. Three deputies had to force their way into the house to make the arrest.

Sanchez remains at the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County. His occupation is listed as "unemployed."

He faces two counts of criminal mischief, one count of aggravated stalking and one count of resisting arrest without violence. He was being held without bail.

Court records suggest that Sanchez has disagreed with his co-workers before.

In 2005, Sanchez sued a colleague, Dr. Winton Burns, for slander, accusing Burns of writing an e-mail that said Sanchez was a risk to become violent.

The suit says Sanchez was fired from Anesthesia Associates of Pinellas County in September 2005 because of the accusations.

Anna Allen of Morton Plant Mease said the hospital has enhanced its security since the incident. She said Morton Plant contracts with Anesthesia Associates of Pinellas County, so Sanchez was not technically an employee of the hospital.

Because of an ongoing investigation, Allen said she could not give more information about the incident.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Tampa doctor accused of damaging medical centers 02/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 2, 2009 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  2. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  3. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]