SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 32-year-old man was killed after he rammed his car into a Sarasota County deputy early Tuesday, according to authorities.
Deputies said they attempted to stop the driver, later identified as Michael Bajorek, as he drove in the area of Phillippi Street and South Tamiami Trail around 12:30 a.m. When Bajorek failed to stop, they initiated a “low-speed vehicle pursuit.”
The pursuit led deputies to the intersection of Webber Street and Lime Avenue where a pit maneuver brought Bajorek’s vehicle to a stop. When a sheriff’s deputy approached Bajorek on foot, Bajorek “suddenly drove at the deputy, pinning the deputy between the suspect’s vehicle and the patrol vehicle,” the sheriff’s office said.
The deputy suffered leg and wrist injuries and was rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Undeterred, Bajorek continued north on Shade Avenue, turning west on Webber Street and ultimately onto Lime Avenue. He then turned around and drove at deputies, causing them to shoot in self-defense, striking Bajorek through the vehicle.
Deputies said they quickly pulled Bajorek out of the car and attempted life-saving measures at the scene. However, Bajorek was pronounced dead.
The sheriff’s office said Webber Street, between South Tamiami Trail and South Shade Avenue, was closed for several hours Tuesday as the investigation continued.