TAMPA, Fla. — A woman is accused of driving the wrong way on a Florida interstate and then setting her vehicle on fire when she was pulled over, authorities said.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the woman was driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Tampa when deputies made a traffic stop, WTVT-TV reported.
“The driver got out of the vehicle and clearly was undergoing a mental health crisis, making a lot of very aggressive statements towards deputies,” Amanda Granit, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, told the television station. “She had a knife in her hand and, at one point, she lit her vehicle on fire.”
The woman was taken into custody and the fire was extinguished, WFLA-TV reported. Because the woman was taken into custody under the Baker Act, she was not arrested, WTVT reported. Granit said the deputies were trained to recognize a health crisis.
“Deputies and law enforcement officers don’t know what they’re experiencing when they respond to these calls or when they make a traffic stop,” Granit told the television station. “The chance of someone going through a mental health crisis and then responding to this need to help is a very real possibility in many of our calls. But our deputies are well-trained. They’re ready to encounter that and ready to try to de-escalate these situations as they occur.”
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