Woman who prompted TMH lockdown escaped through ceiling tiles, court papers say

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 3:06 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee woman whose escape from police custody prompted an hour-long lockdown at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare climbed onto a sink and up into the ceiling above the emergency room, newly released court documents say.

Court records say 30-year-old Ashley Gamble complained of having trouble breathing while officers were arresting her outside a bank on North Monroe Street.

When they reached the TMH ER, Gamble asked to use the bathroom, so officers moved her handcuffs to the front and waited outside, court records say. Officers heard a loud noise and quickly discovered Gamble had climbed onto the sink and up into the ceiling.

“Dozens of additional officers had to be called to lock down the entire Emergency Department at TMH. Officers had to physically climb in the ceiling with ladders and cameras to locate Gamble,” the arrest report says.

At one point, officers say, Gamble almost fell through the ceiling and may have damaged wiring and communication cables while hiding.

It took officers about an hour to recapture Gamble and WCTV cameras were rolling as they led her to a patrol car outside the emergency room.

She made her first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning.

Gamble is facing a handful of charges, including fraud, possession of cocaine and criminal mischief. Notes from her court appearance say the judge set bond totaling $8,000, but at last check, Gamble was still in jail.

Court documents say it all started when Gamble and another man were stopped by officers outside the Capital City Bank at 2111 North Monroe St., accused of trying to cash checks there in another man’s name two days in a row.

Court records say officers found bank cards, carbon papers and several more checks in Gamble’s purse, as well as $330 in cash and a white powder that appeared to be cocaine.

Medical personnel found another $416 in cash tucked inside her clothing as they prepared to take Gamble in for an X-ray, court papers say.

You can read WCTV’s original story on the suspect getting away from the police at the hospital below.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after police said a suspect escaped the custody of TPD officers.

The suspect, 30-year-old Ashley Gamble, was awaiting medical clearance before officers were going to take her to the Leon County Jail. The incident report says Gamble got away from officers, and after an hour-long search, she was found and taken back into custody without further incident.

“We were trying to leave and they locked us down,” said Sharon Belisle. “Police were everywhere. SWAT teams and everything; every corner you looked.”

Belisle was visiting a friend when the situation unfolded.

While Gamble was away from the officers, the hospital was put on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution,” TPD said.

Gamble faces charges of fraud, possession of cocaine and criminal mischief. TPD said more charges are coming following her escape attempt.

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