Wanted suspect who escaped from deputy before getting booked into jail caught

Officials asking for public's help

BARTOW - A wanted woman who escaped from a deputy's custody just before getting booked into a Bartow jail Wednesday morning was caught a few hours later.

Vinzena Wardell, 31, was caught hiding at the Public Works department, according to a Polk County Sheriff's Office official.

Deputies say she got her window of opportunity after she claimed to be sick, moments before getting placed behind bars.

Officials went to serve a warrant for Failure to Appear to Wardell 8:30 Tuesday night at her home.

She faced multiple charges, including Grand Theft, Scheming to Defraud, and Exploitation of the Elderly.

When she was taken into custody, she initially resisted arrest and deputies had to use a stun gun in order for her to comply.

She was taken to a hospital to be evaluated and after being cleared, a deputy drove her to the jail.

Upon arrival, Wardell began to act as if she was about to throw up.

That's when she managed to open the door and run away, all while she was in handcuffs.

The deputy tried to jump out and chase her, but his car was still in gear, so he had to get back inside the vehicle and park it.

She was able to escape.

Officials set up a perimeter and searched for the suspect.

She was found hiding at the Public Works Department several hours later. She now faces additional  charges of Resisting Arrest, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Escape.

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