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Speeding driver charged with attempted murder

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 9, 2000

THONOTOSASSA -- By motioning at a speeding driver with her flashlight Monday afternoon, Hillsborough County Deputy Michele Vetterick meant to convey "slow down."

But Michael Pearson, 19, wasn't listening, officials said. Instead, they said, he aimed his speeding vehicle toward Vetterick and accelerated. To avoid being hit, she dove from Pearson's path and slid on the ground. She suffered cuts, bruises and scrapes. Pearson sped off, the Sheriff's Office said.

Vetterick had been investigating a disturbance call on Hazen Avenue when she tried to slow Pearson down.

After the incident, she patroled the surrounding area by car and found Pearson at a Circle K store on County Road 579 at about 3 p.m.

Pearson, who has been arrested before for grand theft, was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

He is being held in the Orient Road Jail without bail.

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