SARASOTA, Fla. - It was an early morning police chase that landed two suspects in a hospital, but Sarasota Police Captain Paul Sutton says this story could have ended a lot worse.
The suspects who caused the issue were 34-year-old Stephanie Hicks and 19-year-old Floyd Laycock; Both of them have their fair share of police history.
Sarasota Police say they noticed the black Nissan sedan in North Sarasota County around 1:35 Thursday morning.
A car matching that description was reported stolen in Bradenton just about 20 minutes before police spotted it. When officers realized the plates matched, they waited for additional units to help in the pursuit and that's when they turned on the flashing lights.
Hicks though, didn't stop, in fact she sped off from police, leading them on a short chase off Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
When Hicks realized it was a dead end road, police say she u-turned with the car.
Faced up on police who had already set up a makeshift barricade with their cruisers, but Hicks had other plans.
Officers ordered her and Laylock out of the car. To their orders, Hicks responded by hitting the gas, ramming three police vehicles in the process.
"The officers started opening fire, because they feared for their safety and the safety of the other officers," explained Captain Sutton just a couple hours after the incident.
After being shot twice by the officers, Hicks crashed the black sedan into a tree.
Captain Sutton says she got out of the car and admitted she was wrong for running.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment of her life-threatening injuries.
Laylock, though, didn't surrender so easily. A canine unit had to pull him out of the passenger side. He also was transported to Sarasota Memorial for treatment of the dog bites he sustained while being dragged out of the vehicle.
But as Captain Sutton put it, these two are no strangers to the law.
Hicks has had her share of run-ins with police. She has 30 previous arrest on her record, with 18 of those being from right here in Florida on a myriad of crimes including narcotics possession, prostitution and aggravated assault.
Laylock is a convicted felon, stemming from armed robbery convictions and burglary.
No officers were hurt during the incident and the officers who discharged their weapons are on administrative leave; protocol when any officer fires their gun.
They will be able to return to work once the state attorney's office clears the case and the investigation is complete.
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