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A Lucas County sheriff's deputy yesterday fired shots at a car that hit him in front of the county jail in downtown Toledo. The car was driven by a woman released from the jail Wednesday after her arrest on several drug charges, authorities said.
Deputy Jay Schmeltz, 49, who has been with the sheriff's office since 1983, was treated at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for injuries to his right leg.
The driver of the car, Jennifer Lynn Abdoney, 36, of 502 Sunset Blvd., was stopped by Toledo police on Lagrange Street, near Utica Street, moments after the incident, which occurred about 2:55 p.m.
She was back in the jail last night on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding police.
A jail spokesman said Abdoney was on supervised released since Wednesday, facing charges of drug trafficking, drug abuse, and tampering with evidence.
Adam Hannah, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, an Ohio State University student who was in the area with a family member on business, said he turned toward the noise to see a deputy shooting at the fleeing car.
"People just kind of stood there at first. Then everybody started scrambling," he said.
A.J. LaCourse, 18, and his parents, Jim and Joni LaCourse, had just stepped from their van nearby when the shooting started.
"You heard, Bam! Bam! Bam!" A.J said.
Mrs. LaCourse told her son: 'Get down! Get behind the van!"
"It was over before you could react," A.J. said.
Sheriff's Lt. Don Atkinson said Abdoney drove to the jail and parked her car in a restricted parking space on Spielbusch Avenue across from the jail.
Deputy Schmeltz, working outside security, confronted Abdoney, telling her she was in a restricted area and attempted to check her identification. Abdoney walked back to her car and tried to leave, Lieutenant Atkinson said.
The deputy ordered her out of the car, but she started the engine and backed up. The deputy moved in front of the car to keep her from leaving. But Abdoney put the car in drive and hit the deputy as she drove away, the lieutenant said.
Deputy Schmeltz fired at least five shots, with one striking the back window, Lieutenant Atkinson said.
Toledo police chased the car, stopped it, and arrested Abdoney.
Lieutenant Atkinson said Abdoney had her 13-year-old daughter with her in the car. He said she was not harmed and was released.
The shooting will be investigated by the sheriff's office's firearms review board, the lieutenant said.