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Friday, April 9, 2021

Bicycle-towing Leesburg man tased and arrested in parking lot

Jeremy Keith Gilbert
Jeremy Keith Gilbert

A Leesburg man with a history of drug arrests is back in the Lake County Jail after putting up a fight and being tased in a gas station parking lot.

Jeremy Keith Gilbert, 36, who is listed as homeless, was charged with resisting an officer with violence, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug equipment.

Gilbert is also being held on a pair of warrants for violation of his probation for possession of methamphetamine. He was previously arrested on drug charges in Fruitland Park in August 2019 and November 2019. Gilbert was also arrested and charged with animal cruelty in May 2019, according to jail records.

In the latest incident, which happened around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, a Leesburg Police officer spotted Gilbert riding a bicycle on the sidewalk of U.S. Highway 441 north of Mount Vernon Road. Gilbert was towing a makeshift trailer that as attached to his bike. On that trailer were three or four other bicycles, according to the police report.

Gilbert pedaled into the parking lot of the Shell gas station at 1725 U.S. Hwy. 441 and started pumping air into the tires of the bicycle he was riding. Based on the circumstances – which included the time of day and the fact Gilbert was towing multiple bicycles behind a high-end bicycle – the officer approached him to ask what he was doing, the report said.

Gilbert refused to identify himself or cooperate when asked about the other bicycles he was towing. After being told he was being detained, Gilbert started to walk away towards the front entrance of the gas station. The officer gave verbal commands for him to stop, but he continued to walk away, according to the report.

The officer then tried to physically restrain Gilbert, who aggressively pulled away and refused efforts to place his hands behind his back. The officer guided Gilbert to the ground, but Gilbert responded by abruptly swinging his arm back in an attempt to “shrug” the officer off of him, the report said.

Gilbert and the officer wrestled on the ground for several minutes before the officer noticed several large sheath knives affixed to Gilbert’s belt. He broke contact with Gilbert, who walked to an adjacent garbage can and leaned over it, appearing to possibly drop something inside it. The officer ordered Gilbert to place his hands behind his back, and when he refused, the officer deployed his taser and put him in handcuffs, according to the report.

The officer searched the trash can and found a black and gray pouch containing a broken glass pipe with burnt residue consistent with methamphetamine. Also inside the pouch was small metal container that contained a small plastic bag containing a green leafy substance the officer identified as marijuana, as well as a small baggie containing a crystal rock-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, the report said.

Gilbert was taken to the Leesburg Police Department for booking. While there he spontaneously said he removed the pouch from the center pocket in his hoodie and placed it into the trash can right before he was tased. The total weight of the marijuana was 1 gram, and the total amount of methamphetamine was 2 grams, according to the report.

Gilbert is being held on $9,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on April 26.

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