Deputies find fugitive hiding in air-conditioning system

Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.

Deputies looking to serve an arrest warrant found the suspect on Tuesday hiding inside the home’s air handler space covered in a bed sheet and a bath towel, a report said.

Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the suspect, Cornelius Banks, 23, as well as Katronna Smith, 20, who they said helped Banks try to hide from authorities.

Deputies went to an apartment at 5800 SW 20th Ave. at 8 a.m. looking for Banks. They knocked on the door and waited for several minutes before Smith answered and told them that she had not seen Banks in two months and that he was hiding out in New Jersey with his family.

Investigators searched the apartment and noticed a large toy car big enough for a child to sit in had been placed in front of the air handler vent, which had been latched from the outside.

They moved the car, unlatched the vent and found Banks.

Banks was being held without bond on Wednesday at the Alachua County jail on two counts of resisting arrest without violence and one count of probation violation. Smith was arrested on two counts of resisting arrest without violence.

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