Fleeing Ala. inmate who stole rig at hospital captured by U.S. marshals in Arizona

Phillip Shane Bradford avoided being caught for six days and was taken into custody with three other people


Carol Robinson
al.com

PHOENIX — The Alabama inmate who stole an ambulance at UAB Hospital last Wednesday was captured Tuesday on an Arizona sidewalk.

Phillip Shane Bradford, 45, was taken into custody in central Phoenix, according to Northern District of Alabama U.S. Marshal Marty Keely. The Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force has been searching for Bradford since he made his dramatic getaway in Birmingham on June 22.

Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said they received a tip from the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Monday that Bradford was believed to be in a neighborhood in the Phoenix area. Law enforcement officials set up surveillance and spotted Bradford Tuesday walking down the street with another man and two women.

Marshals tactically approached the group and took all four into custody until they could identify each one.

Bradford’s girlfriend, Khara Dubose, was with Bradford, Gonzales said. She had an outstanding warrant out of Alabama for drug charges. Both are being held in the Maricopa County Jail pending extradition to Alabama.

The other female with the group was released, and the man was jailed on outstanding Arizona warrants.

Gonzales said Bradford did not resist arrest.

The agencies involved in the investigation included the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the U.S. Marshals District of Arizona, the U.S. Marshals District of West Texas, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman police.

Authorities initially said Bradford was being taken to the hospital for medical treatment when he overpowered a deputy about 4 p.m. that Wednesday and then fled the scene in an unoccupied ambulance. Sheriff’s officials later said they learned the deputy may not have properly handled the inmate.

“In an effort to get information regarding the identification of the inmate to the public in a timely manner, it was initially thought that the inmate had ‘overpowered’ the deputy during the transport,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Friday. “We have been focusing on locating this subject and bringing him back into custody, however, we are also investigating how this inmate was able to escape.”

The sheriff’s office added that it had concerns “as to whether the deputy properly handled the inmate during transportation.

“We have received video that appears to show activity that is not consistent with the training provided to our personnel,” the statement continued. “An in-depth investigation into all aspects of this escape is being conducted and appropriate action will be taken upon the conclusion.”

Video from the escape showed Bradford shackled and the wrist and ankles getting into the ambulance and locking the door so the deputy could not get to him.

Bradford had been charged with first-degree robbery, obstruction of governmental operations, possession of drug paraphernalia, attempting to elude and third-degree escape, the sheriff’s office said.

He also has one failure to appear charge and nine probation violations.

Birmingham police found the stolen ambulance in the Robinwood area.

Bradford was spotted in Cullman the following day of his escape with a female when he was believed to have stolen a 2004 Silver GMC Envoy from the Walmart on Olive Street.

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©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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