First appearance for driver who struck officer - FOX 13 News

First appearance for driver who struck officer

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24-year old Nichole Syphers is behind bars, after police say she revved her SUV and reversed into a Clearwater police officer during a car chase Friday afternoon.

Police say Syphers started by crashing her car in Largo on Friday. They say she didn't stop following the accident. Instead, investigators say she kept on cruising.

Police say Syphers then pulled into a Clearwater gas station and slammed into a parked car. The manager at the Highland Avenue Chevron station says Syphers left the wreckage in her rear view.

"One of my customers came in and said someone hit his car," manager Peter Modi said Saturday.

Finally, Clearwater police caught up and pulled over Syphers' Saturn Vue.

"Our officers got out of the car. That's when she floored the accelerator backwards toward them," Clearwater Police spokesman Rob Shaw said.

Officer Darcy Hunt was struck by Syphers' car, but thankfully wasn't seriously hurt. Hunt and another officer fired shots at the vehicle, which investigators say once again didn't stop.

"It's hard to fathom how someone can take and use their car, a 2,000 pound vehicle, as a weapon. I mean, it's just as lethal as trying to use a gun or any other weapon against them," Shaw said.

Syphers' wild ride finally ended just a few blocks later, after all four of her tires blew out. While she tried to run, she didn't have the same speed on foot as she did behind the wheel.

Police finally put the brakes on the chase, arresting Syphers and transferring her to the Pinellas County Jail. Syphers is now facing charges including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving.

Syphers is being held on $90,500.00 bond.

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