The third and final suspect in the stabbing of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams was arrested Friday morning in Gainesville, Fla., by a contingent of local police and federal marshals.
Jerrell Whitlock, 26, of Hazelwood was found in a room at the Knight's Inn on Northwest 13th Street. The room had been booked for three days by Mr. Whitlock's sister, Ashley Whitlock of Lake City, Fla., according to John Blount, an inspector with the U.S. Marshal's Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force.
After officers forced their way into the second-floor hotel room, Mr. Whitlock attempted to escape out the back door and onto a balcony, where he was stunned with a Taser, authorities said.
Mr. Whitlock, who was wanted on charges of attempted homicide, attempted robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy, is being held in Gainesville's Alachua County Jail. Bail has not yet been set.
Also in the hotel room was his girlfriend, Precious Gethers, 25, of Carrick and the couple's 3-year-old son. Ms. Gethers was arrested on charges of hindering apprehension and endangering the welfare of a child and was likewise jailed. The couple called an acquaintance to pick up the child, Mr. Blount said.
At an afternoon news conference at Pittsburgh police headquarters, city detectives, Allegheny County sheriff's deputies and U.S. marshals discussed their roles in the multi-agency search for Mr. Whitlock.
Lt. Jack Kearney, of the Allegheny County sheriff's office, said that in addition to the warrant charging Mr. Whitlock in the Adams case, he was charged June 4 with violating his parole for a 2006 firearms violation.
On Monday, investigators received a tip that Mr. Whitlock was in Columbia County, Fla. Lt. Kearney said investigators learned that the couple, with their child, had been taken by a family member to Cleveland. They boarded a Greyhound bus for Florida.
A family member there picked them up and took them to Lake City, the Columbia County seat, and several homes were searched there without success, Lt. Kearney said. During the search for Mr. Whitlock, investigators learned that the fugitive said "he wasn't going to go back to jail, that he was going to shoot it out with police, that he wasn't going back to Allegheny County," Lt. Kearney said. When captured, Mr. Whitlock was not armed.
Mr. Blount said investigators in Florida received information that Mr. Whitlock had traveled the 57 miles from Lake City to Gainesville "and that is when we started searching hotels."
Lt. Kearney said it has yet to be determined whether charges will be filed against people in the Pittsburgh region and in Florida who helped Mr. Whitlock in his flight.
Two other men, Dquay Means, 26, and Michael Paranay, 25, both of Hazelwood, already have been arrested in the case.
Means, a rapper who appeared in the music video for Wiz Khalifa's hit song "Black and Yellow," goes by the stage name Quay Meanz and recently signed with Mr. Khalifa's fledgling music label.
Mr. Adams left Cambod-Ican Kitchen at 17th and East Carson streets shortly before 3 a.m. on June 1, Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint. Mr. Paranay sucker-punched Mr. Adams in the face while Means held a gun and Mr. Whitlock stabbed him, police said. A cellphone dropped as the attackers fled the crime scene led police to Mr. Paranay and the continuing investigation eventually led them to the other two suspects.
Mr. Adams was released from the hospital last week.
Jessica Contrera: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1458. First Published June 14, 2013 5:30 PM