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Tampa police officer struck in face with pliers by burglar at auto parts store

The officer was hospitalized. The suspect was apprehended and taken to the Hillsborough County Jail.

A Tampa police officer responding to a break-in early Monday morning at an Advance Auto Parts store was hospitalized after she was struck in the head with a 12-inch set of pliers.

Police said that when the Tampa officer Delaney Troop, 23, arrived at the store at 1717 N. 50th St., Leonard Henry, 37, threw the pliers through the front door glass with enough force to strike and injure the officer.

Henry attempted to hide atop the shelve stacks inside the store but was apprehended a short time later after being sniffed out by Jagger, a police dog.

Henry was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with burglary, battery of a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.

In addition to damage to the front door, the affidavit states that Henry doused the store’s computers in antifreeze and damaged a roll-up door at the rear of the building. Police estimate that Henry caused $2,500 in damage. While searching Henry’s front right pocket, police discovered a plastic bag with crystal-like residue that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Troop was transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment where she received eight stitches over her left eye. According to Tampa Police spokesman Eddy Durkin, Troop has been discharged from the hospital and will return to full duty. Troop has been with the department since October 2017 and was sworn in as an officer in May 2018.

Records show Henry has previous convictions in Florida for petty theft, grand theft, criminal mischief and trespassing.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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