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Suspect sought in artificial leg case

Published Sep. 4, 2005

The mystery of a dead man found in an abandoned car whose artificial leg was discovered blocks away has been solved, police said Wednesday.

Investigators have issued an arrest warrant for the car's owner, who police say hit the man, then drove for more than a dozen blocks with the victim lodged in his windshield before ditching the car Sunday night.

Police are looking for Kevin Jackson, 31, who has a lengthy history of traffic violations and habitual offender arrests, records show. A warrant has been issued charging Jackson, of 10022 Hyacinth Ave., Apt. A., with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

The victim, a 52-year-old homeless man, has not been named by police because his relatives have not been notified of his death.

Tampa police detectives say Jackson was driving his beige 1990 Honda Civic in the area of Linebaugh and Nebraska avenues Sunday when he hit the man. The victim was thrown onto the hood of the car and through the windshield. His prosthetic leg was left at the crash scene, which later helped investigators pinpoint where the crash occurred.

Police said the victim was stuck in the windshield as Jackson drove the Honda to the yard of an empty home on Poinsettia Avenue.

Jackson left the victim and the car and fled, said Tampa police spokeswoman Katie Hughes. A passer-by discovered the body Monday and called police.

The artificial leg was also found Monday.

Hughes said the Honda belonged to Jackson. She said Jackson had a friend call police to report the Honda stolen Sunday night.

Jackson's history of driving violations dates back to 1992, records show, and includes driving without a license, failing to observe stop signs and being involved in an accident after his license was suspended.

Jackson also has been arrested at least 16 times in Hillsborough County. Charges have included aggravated battery and armed burglary.

On April 15, he was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license and being a habitual offender. The next day, he was released from the Hillsborough County Jail on $1,000 bail.