Felon escapes from Polk County Sheriff's cruiser

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BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a woman who escaped from the backseat of a Polk County Sheriff's cruiser has been located.

Bartow police found 31-year-old Vinzena Wardell on the railroad tracks just after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. She had been missing since early Wednesday when she opened the cruiser's door as she was being taken to the jail for booking.

She faces multiple charges, including grand theft, scheming to defend, exploitation of the elderly, and escape.

Deputies used a stun gun while arresting Wardell Tuesday night. They took her to a hospital for medical clearance and were taking her to jail when she escaped. Bartow police say she fled when she saw them, but a K-9 unit caught up to her.

She is now being treated for injuries received during the K-9 apprehension.

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