Vermont State Police Sgt. Matthew Tarricone was injured while trying to stop a drug suspect from fleeing a traffic stop

Vermont State Police Sgt. Matthew Tarricone was injured while trying to stop a drug suspect from fleeing a traffic stop on Interstate-91 in St. Johnsbury Wednesday night. The suspect, identified by police as Angela Birk, 40, of Newport, is still on the run and subject to a $5,000 arrest warrant issued in Caledonia Superior Court. In addition, the Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office has already filed felony charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and eluding a law enforcement officer against Birk.  Birk is also being charged by prosecutors with misdemeanor reckless operation of a motor vehicle.  Investigators say Birk dragged Sgt. Tarricone with her vehicle for about 50 yards along the highway before he was able to let go of the vehicle and then she fled police at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.  “This stop was made as part of an ongoing drug investigation,” wrote Tpr. Figueroa. “I approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and Sgt. Matt Tarricone approached on the passenger side. I spoke with the operator, who was eventually identified as Angela Birk, 40. While Tpr. Figueroa went back to her cruiser to check Birk’s license, registration and insurance, Sgt. Tarricone remained with the vehicle along with Newport Police Ofc. Joshua Lillis and his K-9.  But  Birk fled the scene after Sgt. Tarricone asked her to turn off her car engine so that Ofc. Lillis and his K-9 could inspect the vehicle.  Tpr. Figueroa said  “As she reached for the keys, she quickly put the car in drive. Sgt. Tarricone tried reaching into the vehicle to attempt to place it back in park. His arms and head were in the vehicle as Birk was taking off and he attempted to run as the vehicle accelerated.  He advised he was holding onto the steering wheel but had to let go because Birk continued to accelerate, and he was unable to grab the gear shift.” “She dragged Sgt. Tarricone with the vehicle for approximately 50 feet and increasing in speed before he was able to let go. He sustained injuries to his head, left side of his face, left elbow, and left knee.”  Birk faces a possible sentence up to 23 years in prison if convicted on all the charges filed against her. Anyone with information about Birk’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Vermont State Police at 802-748-3111 or anonymously at the state police website.