Man Recaptured After Walking Away From Hospital

Posted at 4:46 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 23:05:46-04

Authorities have confirmed that a suspect who walked away from a Nashville area hospital has been recaptured. 

Officials with the Wilson County Sheriff's Office said 36-year-old Homero Quintanilla Navarro was taken into custody just before 1 a.m. Friday at a motel in Antioch near Interstate 24.  

He was first arrested early Sunday after a series of events including a serious car crash, home invasion and burglary in neighborhoods near his home, and the assault of WCSO deputies.

READ MORE: Man Crashes Hummer, Breaks Into Homes

After he was arrested, he was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Emergency Room under guard of WCSO until Monday. That's when he allegedly walked out of the hospital during a shift change.

WCSO Chief Deputy Mike Owens said Wilson County officers said they had followed protocol and faxed all the outstanding warrants for Navarro to Vanderbilt Hospital and police, verified Vanderbilt received the information, and left him under care of Vanderbilt staff as per hospital protocol.

A Vanderbilt police officer who had just come on duty at the hospital -- whom officials said  was not notified of his outstanding warrants -- saw an unidentified female enter the hospital and leave with Navarro.  

Vanderbilt authorities contacted Metro Nashville Police, who began searching the area.

He was initially believed to have fled the state, possibly toward the Southwestern part of the country; however, he was recaptured just south of Nashville after authorities searched for him for three days.

“We are greatly relieved to have this suspect back in our custody,” said WCSO Chief Deputy Mike Owens. “We appreciate the Metro Narcotics detectives who assisted us with the capture of this suspect. We also appreciate the help of the media for getting the word out and his photograph. Our Number One priority has been, as always, to keep the citizens, especially those deeply affected by this case, safe.”

Authorities said Navarro crashed his Hummer at a gas station Saturday before breaking into one home and attempting to break into a second home. He was held at gunpoint by the homeowner of the second home, while the homeowner's son helped hold him at bay with a hatchet.

Navarro ended up headbutting a window to escape when officials arrived. After a chase and struggle in which multiple officials received minor injuries, Navarro was captured.

Officials with Vanderbilt released the following statement: 

“Our responsibility is to provide all patients the very best health care services. However, we never agreed to take custody of prisoners. The arresting law enforcement agency bears the responsibility for prisoner custody. If a law enforcement agency responsible for a prisoner wants to maintain custody they are allowed to have an officer or officers here at all times. In this case, the deputy who was here acknowledged this as our policy not to assume custody and later left the hospital."