27-year-old Venice resident charged with attempted murder after alleged attack on husband of woman with whom the assailant wanted to run away

Alana Gibson in jail without bond on multiple charges

Alana Gibson. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 27-year-old Venice woman with attempted murder after she allegedly attacked a man with a machete inside a Venice home, the department has announced.

Alana Gibson of 107 Stanford Road in Venice also was charged with one count of Armed Burglary with Assault or Battery in an Occupied Dwelling, one count of Battery, and one count of Flee/Elude Police with Disregard of Safety to Persons or Property, the Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division records said.

No bond was set on the attempted murder and assault charges, but bond of $7,500 was set on the fleeing count, the records noted.

According to interviews officers conducted with members of the household, including the victim and the victim’s wife, Gibson wanted to convince the wife to run away with her, if Gibson did not die trying to kill the husband, the reports said.

Officers found not only a machete but also an ax and a bow and arrow that Gibson allegedly had with her when she broke into the home on Burke Road, an officer wrote in one of the incident narratives.

Deputies initially responded to the Venice home about 12:21 a.m. on Nov. 22, Sheriff’s Office reports said. The department had received multiple reports of a residential burglary on Burke Road, a news release noted. “[One] complainant advised they observed a subject climb through a window of the house across the street” and then heard screaming from that residence, the report said.

A second call to 911 — from a resident of the home where the incident was reported — alerted the dispatcher that someone had been injured, a second report noted. When they entered the house, that report said, deputies discovered the husband “with severe cuts and lacerations to his body,” including cuts on his head, chest, arm and leg. He was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the report added.

Before going into surgery for life-threatening injuries, the report continued, the man “provided a brief statement” to officers. He said “he was sleeping in his bed with his wife when he awoke to someone hitting him with an object.” He recognized the alleged assailant as a person he knew by the name of Robert Gibson, he told the officers. When the husband asked Gibson, “‘What did I do?’” the report pointed out, Gibson then approached the wife.

When the wife tried to intervene, a Sheriff’s Office news release and the report pointed out, Gibson allegedly strangled the wife and dragged her into the hallway.

“Detectives observed visible markings around [the wife’s] neck consistent with being strangled,” the report said. The wife was able to restrain Gibson, the report added, before the wife attended to the husband, “who was bleeding profusely from his injuries.” Then Gibson escaped from the residence, the report said.

The husband told officers that Gibson was a co-worker of his wife and that Gibson “had become increasingly attached to [the wife] and was trying to get her to leave [him] and date Gibson,” the report explained.

This is a photo of Alana Gibson posted on Gibson’s Facebook page on June 11. Image from Facebook

After interviewing multiple other residents of the home, the report said, deputies learned that Gibson “was born a male (Robert) and had transitioned to female (currently Alana).”

When officers processed the crime scene, the report noted, they found the various weapons. Among them, a small ax was on the floor of the downstairs bedroom, next to the window where it appeared Gibson had entered the house. “A large machete was located in the [victim’s] bedroom,” where the husband sustained injuries, the report continued. “Additionally, a black backpack with a compound bow and arrows” was discovered at the base of the stairwell, the report said.

The residents of the house “denied ownership” of the weapons, the report added.

After Gibson was arrested and read her Miranda rights, the report continued, “she confessed to trying to kill [the husband]. Gibson said she was upset that she and [the wife] would never be together and that [the wife] deserved someone better than her husband,” the report said.

Gibson also told the detectives that while she was en route to a job interview in Maine, she decided to drive to Venice “and convince [the wife] to run away with her,” the report added. “Gibson said she stopped somewhere remote prior to reaching [the victim’s] house so she could do some target practice with her bow and arrow before using it on [the husband]. Gibson planned to shoot [him] with her bow and arrow,” the report said, but after she entered the house and loaded the arrow into the bow, “she realized she could accidentally strike [the wife] with the arrow. She then decided to use her machete to kill [the husband] instead,” the report continued.

Gibson “planned on convincing [the wife] to run away with her in the small chance that she herself did not die in her efforts to kill [the husband],” the report said.

Gibson arrested after chase into Charlotte County

Upon their arrival at the scene, deputies saw a white pickup truck parked in front of the home that a witness in the neighborhood had identified as the scene of the break-in, Sheriff’s Office reports noted.

One deputy, who followed the truck when it pulled away from the house, saw it “run the stop sign at the intersection of Burke Road and Quincy Road,” the reports added. The deputy wrote that he activated his emergency lights on his marked patrol vehicle “in an attempt to conduct a traffic stop,” but the pickup truck continued to accelerate “in an attempt to evade law enforcement.”

An aerial map shows the intersection of Burke Road and Quincy Road in Venice. Image from Google Maps

About 12:22 a.m., the deputy noted, he announced over the radio that he was in pursuit of the older model Chevrolet.

A Sheriff’s Office sergeant then joined the pursuit, the report said.

The deputy followed the truck as it turned southbound on Tamiami Trail, the report added; it accelerated to approximately 70 mph and proceeded through Jacaranda Boulevard and then toward North Port.

As the pursuit continued, the deputy pointed out, the pickup truck “alternated between speeds of 75 mph and 100 mph.” The sergeant requested assistance from the North Port Police Department as the Sheriff’s Office vehicles entered that jurisdiction, the deputy noted.

North Port officers set out “stop sticks,” over which the truck ran, the report said. However, the truck continued on Tamiami Trail into Charlotte County. Speeds then alternated between 40 mph and 60 mph, the deputy wrote.

After the vehicle turned eastbound on Veterans Boulevard, the deputy pointed out, it began traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. The deputy then crossed the median and began driving in the eastbound lanes, with the vehicles’ speed dropping to approximately 40 mph, the report continued.

The sergeant “attempted a PIT maneuver, which “was unsuccessful,” the report said, and the pickup truck proceeded eastbound in the westbound lanes.

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service says a PIT (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver “is used by law enforcement personnel to force a fleeing vehicle to abruptly turn 180 degrees, causing the vehicle to stall and stop.”

When the sergeant tried the PIT maneuver again, the report added, it was successful, and the pickup truck “came to rest in the grass off the north side of the roadway.”

This diagram shows how a PIT maneuver works. Image from Captain538 via Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons

The deputy pointed out that, after parking his vehicle in the median, he exited it, drew his agency firearm and approached the pickup truck on foot. The driver of the pickup, who later was identified as Gibson, “had her hands up, but was refusing to exit the vehicle,” the report noted. Multiple deputies were on the scene by that time, the report added.

Finally, the deputy who had begun the chase holstered his firearm, opened the driver’s door of the truck and pulled Gibson from the vehicle, the report said. Another deputy assisted him, and they were able to handcuff Gibson on the ground “without further incident,” the report noted.

“The pursuit lasted approximately 17 minutes,” the report said.

Officers first transported Gibson to the Punta Gorda Police Department to interview her, the report pointed out. Then they took her to the Charlotte County Jail before transporting her later to the jail in downtown Sarasota.

Gibson’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2021.