Vinzena Wardell recaptured after escaping Polk deputies

12:53 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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Vinzena Wardell

Bartow, Florida -- 31-year-old Vinzena Wardell is a woman who clearly did not want to go back to jail.

She'd been booked on multiple charges over the years, including fraud, grand theft, and exploiting the elderly. It was those charges -- stemming from an arrest by Lakeland Police last year -- that led Polk County deputies to her door Tuesday night.

Deputies say Wardell failed to appear in court to face the charges. She is accused of opening up credit card accounts in the name of an elderly woman who suffers from dementia. Wardell's arrest report shows she was working as the woman's home health nurse.

Surveillance video from Walmart linked Wardell to the crime.

On Tuesday night, deputies say Wardell was so uncooperative during her arrest they had to use a stun gun on her to get her into custody.

She was taken to the hospital  and released before a deputy escorted her to the Polk County Jail in Bartow just after midnight.

Witnesses tell 10 News they heard the woman tell the deputy she was about to get sick just as the gate to the jail's booking area opened.

"He let the window down to let her puke or whatever... I don't know exactly, because I was standing back and then she reached out and opened the car door and when she opened the car door, she started running and he got out to start running after her and the car started rolling forward," said Davey Sexton.

"We were all just yelling, 'The car! The car!'" another witness told 10 News. He did not want to  be identified, but added, "By the time we looked up to see what was going on, we could hear the bare footsteps going up the road. She kicked her shoes off, she was gone. You could hear her handcuffs rattling down the road and everything."

The escape was somewhat short lived and short distanced. About seven hours later, Bartow police spotted her two blocks away from the jail on the railroad tracks at Mill Avenue and Boulevard Street. She tried to run again, but was captured by a K-9 deputy in the Public Works parking lot.

She was taken back to the hospital to be treated for injuries made by the K-9, and she'll once again be brought back to jail.


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Polk County Sheriff's Office

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