Tampa, FL – A Tampa police officer was bashed in the face with a set of large pliers as she was investigating a report of a break-in at a business early Monday morning.
The incident occurred at an Advance Auto Parts store on North 50th Street at approximately 1:42 a.m., after the Tampa Police Department (TPD) received a report of a burglary alarm, WFLA reported.
When 23-year-old Tampa Police Officer Delaney Troop arrived at the scene, she spotted the suspect standing inside the glass front doors of the business, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
That’s when the intruder hurled a 12-inch set of channel lock pliers at the officer, shattering the glass door and striking her in the face, WFLA reported.
Despite being injured, Officer Troop focused her attention on blocking her attacker’s escape route as she radioed for assistance.
The suspect, later identified as 37-year-old Leonard Henry, ran further into the auto parts store, and attempted to hide on top of a stack of shelves, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
TPD K9 Jagger soon responded to the scene and located Henry in the warehouse area, according to WFLA.
Investigators also discovered that Henry damaged a roll-up door on the back side of the building and that he had doused the store’s computers with antifreeze, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Those damages – plus the shattered front doors – came to an estimated loss of approximately $2,500, police said.
Henry was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, WFLA reported.
The drug charge stemmed from a baggie of crystal-like residue that was found in his pocket, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.
Henry was previously convicted of trespassing, criminal mischief, grand theft, and petty theft offenses.
Officer Troop was transported to Tampa General Hospital with a gash over her left eye, WFLA reported.
The two-year veteran-of-the-force was treated with eight stitches, then released to recover at home, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
She is expected to make a full recovery.