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Fla. cop nearly run over opens fire on suspect

The suspect drove away from the scene after crashing into an SUV, injuring the driver inside

By Erika Pesantes
Sun Sentinel

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A 23-year-old man allegedly tried to run over an on-duty Hollywood police officer in Miami Gardens moments before the officer fired his weapon, authorities said.

The shooting happened Thursday morning and led to the arrest hours later of Varnelson Ceus, of Miami Gardens. He is charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and leaving the scene of a crash with injury.

Police say Ceus crashed into the SUV of a woman, causing her to suffer minor injuries.

Hollywood police on Friday declined to offer information about why their officer was in Miami Gardens at the time.

"Everything is still under investigation. It's a Miami Gardens case," Hollywood Officer Anthony Gomez said.

Neither the officer nor Ceus were injured during the shooting, which happened about 8:45 a.m. in the 300 block of Northwest 199th Street, Miami Gardens police said.

The Hollywood officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on Ceus after he noticed him speeding, police said.

Ceus allegedly refused to stop and sped away, subsequently crashing into a stopped SUV. The accident injured Delores Parks, 54.

After the crash, the officer got out of his vehicle and ordered Ceus to step out of his vehicle. But Ceus instead remained inside and reversed in an attempt to run over the officer, authorities said.

"In fear for his life, the officer discharged his weapon at the subject," Miami Gardens police said in a statement.

Ceus drove away from the scene and later was arrested, police said. He was booked into Miami-Dade's Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center about 9:40 p.m. Thursday.

Witnesses and the Hollywood police officer identified Ceus as the driver who crashed into the SUV and who tried to run over the officer, authorities said.

Typically, police alert their counterparts when investigations lead them into other jurisdictions. It's done as a courtesy and for safety reasons, in case the officer needs help from the agency whose jurisdiction they cross. A spokesman for Miami Gardens police could not be reached for comment late Friday.

Copyright 2014 the Sun Sentinel

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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