Accused bank robber charged in escape attempt at hospital

By Joe Beck

An accused bank robber from Stephens City remained held without bond after he appeared in court Tuesday to answer new charges related to an alleged escape attempt at Winchester Medical Center on Monday.

Charles Franklin Adams III was charged with assault and battery on a corrections officer, attempting to disarm a corrections officer and attempted escape after being captured by an off-duty Winchester firefighter in the hospital lobby.

Authorities said Adams, an inmate at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, had been taken to the hospital earlier in the day for unknown reasons. A criminal complaint filed in Winchester General District Court by Detective C.W. Coleman states that Adams tried to escape while he was with corrections officer George Bell in a room on the hospital’s third floor.

The complaint states that Bell told Coleman that Adams asked to go to the bathroom and then sat on a bed after returning to the room.

“Bell stated Adams charged at him and attempted to grab his weapon,” Coleman wrote.

Bell managed to push Adams off of him, but Adams came at him again swinging his arms, the complaint states.

“Bell stated they got into a physical altercation and was hit in the arm, and Adams ran from room 341 into the hospital main lobby,” the complaint states.

Police spokeswoman Lauren Cummings said Bell received minor injuries that did not require treatment.

Court documents list Adams, 45, of 102 Falabella Drive, Stephens City, as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds.

Authorities say Adams is accused of robbing the United Bank at 1041 Berryville Ave. in Winchester on Aug. 3. He was arrested the next day at a traffic stop in Howard County, Md.

Court documents say authorities identified Adams by matching his pickup truck with Division of Motor Vehicle records and photos taken with a bank surveillance camera. The court documents also state that authorities learned Adams had been released 14 months ago from a federal prison where he had been sentenced for bank robbery.

Winchester General District Court Judge David Whitacre scheduled a preliminary hearing for 10 a.m. Oct. 16.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com