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Teen hits officer, runs away

Several police units, including a helicopter and a canine unit, were called out late Sunday to search for a teen-ager who punched a police officer in the side and ran. As Officer W.E. Spotford chased the youth, Spotford fell and injured his knees, spokesman Wiley Howell said. The officer was treated at Tampa General Hospital and was released.

According to the report, Spotford tried to question the youth about 9 p.m. Sunday at the Coastal Mart convenience store near Azeele Street at MacDill Boulevard.

The youth punched the officer in the side and ran. Spotford chased him but tripped, Howell said.

Several police cruisers, the police helicopter and a canine unit were called to assist in the search, but the boy was not found, Howell said.

Police were able to give only a sketchy description of the boy.