November 7, 2023 – Port Charlotte, FL
A mother was arrested following an incident at Port Charlotte High School in which she attempted to hit a staff member with her vehicle.
On November 2, 2023, the parent of a Port Charlotte High School student dropped her child off at school. The woman, identified as Tarajayne Samuels-Catalan (9/28/1981), then attempted to exit the parking lot the same way she entered. A staff member stopped the woman and advised that she could not exit that way due to buses coming in to unload students. This exchange agitated the woman, who eventually backed up and turned her vehicle around, leading the staff member to believe she was leaving as instructed.
While this occurred, a bus had begun pulling in and was forced to wait for the suspect’s vehicle to clear. Once clear, the bus continued on its route to let students off. As the bus passed, the woman then turned her vehicle in the direction of the staff member and hit the gas, revving the engine and traveling at a high rate of speed toward him. The member was forced to dive into some bushes to evade the oncoming vehicle. The member was able to report the incident, to include the suspect’s license plate, to the School Resource Deputy, prompting an investigation.
A witness who had observed the incident, along with security footage reviewed, corroborated the report of the victim. Deputies met with Tarajayne Samuels-Catalan on Tuesday, November 7, and interviewed her in regard to the incident. The suspect stated that she prefers to go out through the entry to avoid speed bumps in the exit area that cause damage to her vehicle. She denied attempting to strike the victim with her vehicle.
“The pick-up and drop-off lines at the schools are frustrating at times, but we absolutely will not cut corners on ensuring the safety of the students and staff. I am glad that our victim here is uninjured, and I hope that this mother rethinks the example she is setting for her child.”Sheriff Bill Prummell
Tarajayne Samuels-Catalan was placed under arrest and charged with Aggravated Assault on a Public or Private Education Employee. She is currently being held at the Charlotte County Jail without bond.