Florida felon escapes from sheriff's cruiser

BARTOW — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in locating an escaped felon.

Deputies say 31-year-old Vinzena Wardell managed to open the door of a patrol car early Wednesday as she was being taken to the jail for booking. She's wanted on multiple charges, including failure to appear, grand theft, scheming to defend, exploitation of the elderly, resisting arrest and escape.

Deputies arrested Wardell at her home around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. During the arrest, deputies say she resisted and began to struggle. They used a stun gun on her and then took her to a hospital to be medically cleared.

Just after midnight, Wardell opened the patrol door and escaped while still restrained.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff's office at 863-298-6200.

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