Florida woman accused of crashing into multiple cars, throwing fake snake to evade traffic stop

Suspect in custody, 4 people transported to hospital, Martin County Sheriff’s Office says

Dawn LaShawn Laprade, 54, of Vero Beach, faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault on an officer and fleeing and eluding. (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. – A woman was arrested after crashing into multiple vehicles and throwing a fake snake at deputies in an attempt to flee a traffic stop in Martin County Wednesday afternoon, deputies said.

Dawn LaShawn Laprade, 54, faces multiple charges, with additional charges possible, including four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and fleeing and eluding.

According to investigators, the chase began when the suspect intentionally hit one of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office vehicles as she tried to evade a traffic stop.

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She fled deputies, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph, hitting another patrol car and a civilian truck, injuring the three people inside, before ending up on Warfield Boulevard, a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office reads.

“While driving, she motioned to the deputies that she had a gun, and drove erratically trying to cause them to crash,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

When deputies approached the suspect, she threw a fake snake at them, the post continues.

The 54-year-old Vero Beach woman threw this rubber snake at a deputy, the sheriff's office said. (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

Four people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the traffic crashes, deputies said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the deputies hit by the woman were not injured.

Laprade was booked into jail and is being held on a $90,000 bond.

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.