Former Mount Sinai Medical Center employee caught stealing medicine, police say

Richard Elliott, 43, accused of attacking hospital security guards with hammer


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A former employee of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach is accused of entering a room in the hospital Thursday and stealing 20 vials of controlled substances, including fentanyl and Versed, both of which are primarily used for heavy sedation and pain relief.

According to an arrest report, Richard Elliott, 43, was wearing the same scrubs he used to wear while working at the hospital, but security officers became suspicious because he was holding a hammer as he left a medicine room.

Security officers said they also recognized Elliott from a "be on the lookout" flier that said he was wanted for burglary and various thefts of medicine.

Police said a security officer tried to question Elliott, and Elliott swung the hammer at him and tried to make his way down a hallway.

It took two security officers to hold Elliott down until police arrived, the report said.

Police said the vials of medicine were found in Elliott's pocket and he claimed that he stole them for his girlfriend, who was parked outside waiting for him with his baby.

Security told police that Elliott's girlfriend, Amanda Cochraine, 31, was spotted speeding away from the hospital toward the Julia Tuttle Causeway and nearly crashed into a security guard's golf cart while driving against traffic.

Miami Beach police pulled her over and took her into custody.

Detectives said Cochraine admitted to driving Elliott to the hospital multiple times to steal medicine. 

The baby was handed over to its grandmother, and the Department of Children and Families was notified.

Cochraine was arrested on a warrant and also faces charges of burglary with assault or battery and child neglect.

Elliott faces charges of burglary with assault or battery, two counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell and child neglect.

"Mount Sinai Medical Center has and continues to cooperate with authorities relating to this situation," the hospital said in a statement Friday.

The couple appeared Friday in court, where Cochraine was ordered held in jail in lieu of a $27,500 bond and Elliott was ordered held without bond.

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