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Suspect spits blood in face of officer during South Side brawl

| Sunday, March 10, 2013, 1:33 p.m.

Officers working Pittsburgh's South Side Saturation Patrol broke up a bloody brawl early Saturday and said one of the combatants spit blood in the face of an officer.

Stephen James Howell, 25, of Brookline was released from Allegheny County Jail on a $5,000 bond on charges of aggravated harassment, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public drunkenness stemming from a brawl in the 1400 block of East Carson Street shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities said they came upon a mob of about 25 people. Flailing his arms, Howell was covered in blood, and members of the crowd “were all attacking one another,” according to a police report. When Officer Zachary Shample ran to stop Howell, the man allegedly spat “a mouth full of blood into (his) face,” the report stated.

Shample kneeled on the street while two officers pursued the suspect, who began fleeing down East Carson Street.

At 13th Street, they said Howell refused to listen to commands to stop and tucked his right arm underneath his body to prevent cuffing.

Once police restrained him, paramedics took him to UPMC Mercy Hospital, Uptown, where he was treated and released. Police ordered a blood test to check for communicable diseases.

Carl Prine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7826 or cprine@tribweb.com.

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