Winter Haven officer shoots at fleeing suspect

Man in backseat of car injured, police say

Douglas Davis

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A Winter Haven police officer shot at a vehicle that was driving straight toward him while fleeing from authorities, injuring a passenger in the backseat.

Agency officials said they were called around 2 a.m. Sunday regarding a suspicious silver Volkswagen Passat at Cambridge Square Apartments.

One officer approached the driver's side to speak with 23-year-old Douglas Davis Jr. while Officer Vic Ramos stood at the front of the vehicle.

Police said Davis started acting strangely and reached down under his seat, which is when an officer tried to pull him from the vehicle, but Davis then hit the gas and started driving directly toward Ramos.

Ramos fired through the windshield, hitting a passenger who was in the backseat in the shoulder. That person suffered non-life-threatening injuries. His name and age have not been released.

Davis kept driving until the car broke down after jumping a curb about a quarter-mile away, then he and a juvenile male and juvenile female fled on foot, according to a news release.

Police said the girl was found hiding in bushes and the boy turned himself in, but Davis has not been located.

Ramos, who has worked at the department since December 2017, has been placed on paid leave, which is standard procedure.