published Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Woman named in I-75 attack came from Florida

The aunt of a Florida woman shot by a Bradley County deputy after police say she slashed him with a knife Saturday said the whole family is in shock over what happened.

“We’re all surprised here. I was just hoping it wasn’t true,” said Sylvia Foster, the aunt of Armetta Foster, 30, of Sanford, Fla.

Armetta Foster died at Erlanger hospital Saturday after crashing the police cruiser she stole from a deputy on Interstate 75 in Cleveland, Tenn., authorities said.

She died of gunshot wounds, according to Kristin Helm, spokeswoman with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is heading the investigation.

Authorities said Saturday that several motorists reported seeing a woman and two children walking north on I-75 at mile marker 22. Deputy Dustin Patrick was sent to check on her. As he was talking to her, she pulled a knife and began slashing at him, cutting him on the hand, officials said. Foster ran to his cruiser, leaving the children behind, and Patrick fired his service weapon. She drove away but crashed the car through a fence and into a tree.

Authorities believe Foster had been driving a stolen car that was found at exit 20 after the shooting.

In a telephone interview from Sanford, Sylvia Foster said her niece was traveling to her mother’s home in Kentucky to drop her two children off for the summer.

She last saw her niece about a week ago, she said.

“All Armetta told me was that ‘When school is out I’m going to take the kids to my mama, and that will take me some time to get re-established,’” Sylvia Foster said.

Armetta, who had been juggling several jobs, was looking for a job and a new place to live.

“She was a pretty young lady. She had a good personality,” Sylvia Foster said.

“I don’t know if she stole a car. That is what we heard, though,” she added.

Sylvia Foster said she wasn’t aware of her niece having a criminal record or a history of violence. Records were not available from the Seminole County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

The children were placed in custody of the Department of Children’s Services.

Patrick is on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in shooting incidents, authorities said.

Sylvia Foster said Armetta Foster’s father is working a military-related post and is coming back to Florida to seek custody of his daughter’s children.

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brokentoe said...

Something about this story is troubling. The unfolding of events just doesn't add up. Has anyone thought to interview the children to see if what the officer is saying is true?

May 23, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
pNc said...

Was the alleged knife the victim allegedly used recovered? I agree, broke, there's something not sitting right with this cop's version of events.

May 23, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
MrAnderson said...

Let me give you a dose of reality vs media sensationalism !
I have knowledge that a police officer is taught to reach in and try to get the keys from a person who seems like they are goin to leave the scene . If she was trying to leave in his car logic dictates that he tried to reach for the keys and she responded by striking his hand with whatever was there ... Maybe even sharp edged keys ... anything to make him remove his arm and/or hand from said vehicle ! After his attempt to stop her failed he unloaded the clip at his own vehicle killing this woman ! Nobody says it was right of her to do this but it should not have been a fatal event ... good follow up law enforcement would have stopped her down the road after she had time to think ! This Dustin Patrick needs to be punished severely for his bad actions !

June 1, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.
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