CLEARWATER - A Clearwater Police officer responding to a hit-and-run call was injured by the suspect after she hit her with a vehicle, according to a report from the City of Clearwater.
The woman driving the vehicle has been identified as 24-year-old Nicole Yolanda Syphers.
Syphers is now charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding and driving on a suspended/revoked license.
The incident began just before 1 p.m. Friday, when a hit-and-run accident was reported at Lakeview Road and Highland Avenue.
Martin Planty was leaving Wal Mart with his fiance when he saw it all go down.
"The woman was caught up on a tension wire that holds a pole up, two people pushed her off the wire," said Planty. "She sped off at a high rate of speed."
Planty called 911 and stayed on the phone as he followed the Syphers. Planty said Syphers was at least driving 100 mph.
"Running red lights, stop signs, endangering everybody, running people off the road, we thought we were going to watch her kill somebody," Planty explained.
Planty told ABC Action News he followed Syphers to a gas station where he says she hit a car.
"She left there, proceeded up to Gulf to Bay and ran a red light into some serious on coming traffic," Planty added.
Planty says he saw three officers near the intersection of Court Street and Hillcrest Avenue and flagged them down.
Once he told officers Syphers was the hit and run driver, police tried initiating a traffic stop at 1408 Court Street, in the parking lot of a CPA office.
Police say Syphers accelerated toward Officer Darcy Hunt and hit Hunt in the leg.
Syphers drove her car over a short wall, blowing out all of her tires.
"She rammed a cop car. I don't know if she tried to run an officer over but she jumped that ramp right there," Planty explained.
Syphers continued to drive north on Hillcrest. Planty said when officers ordered the women to get out of the car she refused. That is when Hunt and Cpl. Steve Squillante opened fire.
"She was on something. I wouldn't say alcohol. Something really serious," Planty said.
Hunt was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where she was treated for treated for non-life threatening injuries and then released.
This is not the first run-in Syphers has had with the law. Syphers was previously arrested for fleeing and eluding an officer as well possession of Oxycodone in 2012.
Syphers will go before a judge Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, both Hunt and Squillante have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. This is standard protocol in cases of this type.
Hunt has been on the force since July 2005. Squillante has been on the force since February of 1995.
ABC Action News did speak to Sypher's stepfather in person but he declined to comment. Her mother has also not returned our requests for comment.s
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