Florida – A Tampa area police officer is recovering on Tuesday after she was reportedly struck in the head with a set of 12-inch pliers while responding to a call of a break-in at an auto parts store. 

According to the report from the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa officer Delaney Troop, 23, was responding to a call of a possible break-in at an Advance Auto Parts located at at 1717 N. 50th Street on Monday night. 

As the officer made her way toward the entrance of the store, the suspect, now identified as Leonard Henry, 37, noticed that he was no longer alone. And before she noticed him, Troop was already under attack.

23-year-old officer ambushed, struck in head with pliers during break-in

 

According to police, Henry grabbed a pair of heavy 12-inch pliers and threw them at the glass front door with such force that the tool flew through the partition and struck the female officer in the head, causing a large gash that required a number of stitches. 

As additional officers arrived at the scene, Henry tried to hide inside the store, police said. But he didn’t count on the department K9 to arrive and sniff him out. 

 

According to the Times, K9 Jagger was able to track the suspect down inside the store and discovered him hiding amongst the shelves of auto parts. 

During the personal search of the suspect, officers found a bag with what appeared to be methamphetamine inside. Henry was arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

He now faces charges of burglary, battery of a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.

Police say that in addition to smashing the glass door, Henry also poured antifreeze over the store’s computers and damaged a roll-up door in the rear of the building. Reports said that he caused about $2,500 worth of damage in his escapade. 

The wounded officer was transported to Tampa General Hospital to be treated for her injuries. Police confirmed that Troop received eight stitches over her left eye where the pliers had made contact. 

Tampa Police spokesman Eddy Durkin confirmed Tuesday morning that Troop had been discharged from the hospital and is expected to return to full duty shortly. 

Troop has served with the Tampa department since 2017, becoming a sworn officer in 2018.

Another case out of Florida has citizens and members of law enforcement concerned over the enforcement of red flag laws. 

A Florida man has been convicted of not willingly giving his weapons to law enforcement when a “red flag” order was issued against him.

23-year-old officer ambushed, struck in head with pliers during break-in

The Florida veteran faces five years behind bars for failure to surrender his weapons to law enforcement. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

 

What makes this case so unique is that the 33-year-old man, Jerron Smith, who was convicted this week of violating the “red flag” law last year, was the first person to have been charged under Florida’s new “red flag” gun laws.

Then again, what is there to debate when a charge like that happens? All that needs to be proven is a lack of compliance.

Apparently, jurors in Broward County didn’t need much time to deliberate regarding the outcome of Smith’s arrest, where he was held without bail for not surrendering his guns last year.

Jerron Smith was required to hand over his weapons to police, which consisted of a .22 caliber rifle and an AR-15 assault rifle, after a judge ruled that Smith posed a threat since he was accused of attempted murder and was on bail for that arrest.

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23-year-old officer ambushed, struck in head with pliers during break-in

 

While there has been nearly little movement on the attempted murder charge that Smith was accused of in March of 2018, the judge still opted that the guns had to go.

Of course, Smith refused to give up his two rifles, after police had already confiscated earlier in the year the alleged handgun that was used on the attempted murder case he was facing.

The original case that this order stemmed from was that it was alleged Smith had opened fire on a car that was being driven by a friend in March 2018.

 

What is confusing in all this is that even after police having the alleged weapon used in the crime for 20 months at this point, that attempted murder case has hardly nudged. Yet, prosecutors were able to bring in new charges, hold a trial, and secure a conviction stemming from a law that was manipulated to attribute guilt where guilt hasn’t been established yet.

 Yet, even if Smith winds up being guilty of the alleged attempted murder charge that was used to secure a seizure of his legally owned rifles; this case paves a pathway to allow lawfully-owned guns to be taken away from otherwise law-abiding people and can turn those who don’t comply into felons.

The kneejerk law that was enacted after the Parkland high school mass shooting in February 2018 has the propensity to turn libel and slander into actions where your second amendment rights will be infringed upon.

Florida is one of fifteen states within in the country that have enacted these kinds of “red flag” laws, and Smith’s conviction shows that the state intends to prosecute for non-compliance. One of Smith’s neighbors had even mentioned to a local news crew that Smith was an Army veteran as well, and apparently some locals were disappointed to hear of his arrest regarding the “red flag” law.

Jurors reached a guilty verdict on Friday in less than half-an-hour, which means that even if he’s acquitted of the attempted murder charges, Smith can find himself in prison for five years simply for standing up for his constitutional rights. At this time, a sentencing date has not been set in the case, but it would not be surprising in the least if the state decided to make an example at sentencing as they did with the arrest and conviction.

 


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