Kearney Center resident says fugitive seemed "totally innocent"

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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A 46-year-old man was arrested in Tallahassee on Thursday for 865 counts of child rape, Marty West of the U.S. Marshals Service confirms. Garrick Landon Bloom, of Shippenville, Pennsylvania, was taken into custody at the Kearney Center.

Authorities said he was on the run after a warrant was put out for his arrest.

Pennsylvania court records obtained by WCTV show a man with the same name and age has a criminal background that dates back to at least 2001. One charge he pleaded guilty to was an assault on a victim under the age of 12.

A representative for the Kearney Center, which provides 24-hour comprehensive emergency services to individuals experiencing homelessness, said every new client is processed with their personal information run through a nationwide database.

"When we did run his name it was not yet in that database," said Monique Ellsworth.

Ellsworth is the executive director of the Comprehensive Emergency Services Center, the parent company of the Kearney Center. She said the center generally sees about 10 new clients a day and helped more than 3,000 people in 2018. The processing procedure takes about 25 to 35 minutes.

"I saw all the Marshals come in and they took him out in handcuffs and I wondered what he did," said Kendra Gude.

Gude told reporter Katie Kaplan that she had interacted with Bloom a few minutes before his arrest. She said he seemed like a normal guy and she was surprised to hear of the allegations against him.

"There are people here that look totally innocent, but you never know what they've done," Gude said. "They might be running from the law or whatever."

Gude added that it was a good lesson for her and others who frequent the center in who to trust.

Ellsworth said there are not any worries that children were harmed at the center since it only takes in single men and women. Families are housed elsewhere.

The U.S. Marshals service said Bloom is being held at the Leon County Detention Facility pending extradition back to Pennsylvania.

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