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Officer breaks bullet-shattered leg during arrest

Tampa police Officer Kevin Howell, who was nearly killed in a 1995 shooting, broke his leg Thursday when a woman he was trying to arrest fell on him.

Howell, 33, and other officers had responded to a shooting on 32nd Avenue, in which Jesse Johnson, 19, of 1306 E Ida St., had been shot in the arm and hip after an argument, said Tampa police spokesman Steve Cole.

As paramedics treated Johnson, a crowd gathered. Jaimeas E. Mills, 19, began threatening another woman who she said had given her a dirty look, Cole said.

As officers tried to restrain Mills, who is 5-feet-9 and 245 pounds, she fell on top of Howell's left leg, breaking it just below the knee. It was the same leg injured when Howell was shot.

"The officers there said they heard it snap," Cole said.

Doctors at Tampa General Hospital put a cast on Howell's leg and sent him home. He is expected to be off work several weeks.

Mills was charged with resisting arrest without violence. Johnson was treated for his gunshot wounds at Tampa General and was released. No arrests were made in the shooting.

On March 23, 1995, Howell and Officer Mike Vigil were shot and critically wounded as they chased a robbery suspect. After a long recovery, Howell went back to work in January.

This is the second time Howell has been injured on the job since he returned to the streets. In April, he fractured several ribs and hurt his shoulder when his patrol car was struck by another car.

_ SUSAN CLARY

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