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woman tries to flee then hits Manatee deputy

Woman tries to flee and hits Manatee deputy with a stolen car

A woman is facing multiple charges after investigators say she stole a car and fled from deputies before hitting a deputy with the vehicle.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred on Wednesday after deputies found a stolen vehicle but the driver managed to get away after being associated with a traffic crash.

“She doesn’t care about anyone but herself. Every time we tried to pull her over, she’d drive erratically and do what she could to get out of here,” said Sheriff Rick Wells.

The sheriff’s helicopter later relocated the stolen white Ford Taurus in a parking lot located at 30th Ave East and 1st Street in Bradenton, Florida.

As deputies moved in to arrest the suspect, investigators said the driver, later identified as 23-year-old Katarina Vanfossen, made attempts to flee — only to be blocked by a deputy’s patrol vehicle.

Vanfossen put the car in reverse, at which point the deputy got out of her patrol car and then gave verbal commands.

That’s when the sheriff’s office said Vanfossen hit the gas and ran the vehicle into the deputy, causing the deputy to fly onto the hood and windshield. The car kept going, striking another MCSO vehicle and causing the deputy to fly off the hood and land hard on the pavement.

“The suspect accelerated and tried to ram through a very small spot, something that was never going to happen. It happened so quick that she didn’t even have time to neutralize the threat. She was justified to shoot at that suspect, I wish that she would have been able to, but she didn’t have time,” said Sheriff Wells.

Video showed Vanfossen getting out of the vehicle as other deputies surrounded her and arrested her.

The deputy suffered various injuries and was taken to an area hospital. The sheriff’s office said she is in good condition and is expected to be released on Thursday.

Vanfossen has been charged with second-degree attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, motor vehicle theft, fleeing to elude, and leaving the scene of the car crash.

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