Bradenton Beach police officer injured in crash with fleeing driver in stolen car

March 3, 2013 

ANNA MARIA ISLAND — A Bradenton Beach Police Department officer is hospitalized with very serious injuries following a crash a fleeing suspect Saturday, according to a police report.

At 3:45 p.m. a 24-year-old woman who police believe was driving a car stolen from a car dealership in North Carolina, was discovered in the 5400 block of Marina Drive in Holmes Beach, according to a Holmes Beach Police Department report.

Officers from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Bradenton Beach Police Department and Holmes Beach Police Department converged on a shopping center in that area, but the suspect, who has been identified as Amanda L. Varner, managed to get around the officers and flee in the stolen vehicle north on Holmes Boulevard, the report states.

Officer Hill with Bradenton Beach Police was traveling south of Holmes Boulevard, heading to assist and was not aware the suspect had fled and was heading in his direction, the report states.

While attempting to get past the marked police vehicle, which had emergency lights flashing, the suspect crashed head on into Hill’s police vehicle, according to the report.

Hill was taken to Blake Medical Center, the report states.

Varner has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, one count of aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, one count of grand theft of a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing to elude with great bodily injury to a law enforcement officer and driving while her license was suspended, the report states.

Varner, whose address is listed as Sanford, N.C., was being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.

A hold was also placed on the suspect for warrants out of North Carolina.

Investigators learned that the passenger had no knowledge that the vehicle was stolen and was released, according to the report.

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