ST. PETERSBURG -- Blake Mitchell Townsend was already in a heap of trouble, police say. He was allegedly driving drunk early Sunday morning -- with a suspended license. Police say he was driving the wrong way down a one-way street -- and ran a red light
He already had two prior DUI convictions, police say. Then officers say he tried to run away from them. They they said they had to Taser him
. Then they took him to a hospital.
Believe it or not, St. Petersburg police say, that's when Townsend really got himself in trouble. Townsend was pulled over around 4th Avenue N and 3rd Street. It was around 1:35 a.m.
He appeared "dazed" and "staggering," an officer wrote in the arrest report. Townsend refused to consent to a breathalyzer test.
Then Townsend took off running, police say. One officer pulled out his Taser and fired it at Townsend, immobilizing him
. Townsend surrendered, police say, and was taken to Edward White Hospital to be checked out.
A doctor cleared Townsend and the officer was about to take him to jail. Then Townsend asked to use the restroom, according to police. The officer took off the handcuffs and told Townsend to leave the door open so he could see him.
But the officer was momentarily distracted when a nurse brought Townsend's medical report. The officer turned around to find the restroom door closed and locked from the inside
When the officer got the door open, police say, Townsend was missing -- but two tiles had been removed from the drop ceiling
Another officer removed ceiling tiles from an examination room next door, stood on the bed and took a look inside the ceiling. He saw Townsend hiding inside the ceiling, police say
The officer aimed his Taser at Townsend and ordered him to climb down. Townsend complied, but only after several commands, police said. He was out of the officer's sights for three minutes
, police say.
Townsend, of 3942 Bayshore Blvd. NE, was arrested on charges of DUI, misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence and felony escape. His bond was set at $10,650 -- $10,000 for the escape charge alone. He bailed of jail Monday.