Deputies, US marshals and fugitive task force flush out armed, wanted felon after 7-hour manhunt

OKEECHOBEE – Thomas McGill, 39, of Okeechobee County, did his best to outrun law enforcement on May 14, but his best wasn’t good enough. After a 7-hour manhunt, deputies plucked McGill out of a canal along SR 710, just south of the Okeechobee County line. McGill, who was wanted by the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force on felony warrants for grand theft auto, took off on foot during a traffic stop today. Witnesses told deputies McGill was armed with a gun when he fled.

Martin County Sheriff’s Office Uniform Road Patrol Deputies, Warrants, CID and SID detectives, SWAT, Aviation and K-9, along with the members of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office assisted the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force by setting up a perimeter covering a large area. McGill avoided capture for a short time by submerging himself in a canal. He was eventually spotted in the water and pulled out by law enforcement. McGill was taken to the Martin County Jail on the felony warrants.

OCSO Cpl. Jack Nash, community relations, sent the following information:

“Today (Thursday, May 14) Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office received information on a possible location for Thomas William McGill, 49, of Okeechobee. McGill has an outstanding warrant from our jurisdiction and has eluded capture. Our units located a vehicle McGill was believed to be a passenger in near Hwy 441 Southeast and Blue Cypress Golf and R.V. Resort. As a traffic stop was attempted, a short vehicle pursuit into Martin County ensued when the driver refused to stop. Shortly inside Martin County, the driver stopped, and McGill exited, fleeing on foot into a heavily wooded area. It was alleged that McGill might have been armed with a .22 caliber handgun. Assets from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office were called to the area to assist in the search. After several hours of rigorous searching, Martin County Sheriff’s Office personnel found McGill in a retention canal, partially submerged, attempting to hide within vegetation.

“Martin County Sheriff’s Office took McGill custody without any further incident.

“The driver of the initial chase was arrested and no handgun was located. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel E. Stephen would like to send his appreciation to Martin County Sheriff William D. Snyder and his personnel for their assistance and apprehension of the suspect today.”

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment