Gunshots, rocks and bottles rained down on more than 100 police officers as they put down a riot triggered by the arrest of a black drug suspect who later died in custody, authorities said.
Wednesday night's three-hour disturbance was the third riot in the predominantly black College Hill section in two years and the second in Florida in two weeks.A 22-square-block area of the neighborhood was cordoned off after the violence began as undercover officers struggled to arrest the 6-foot-3, 300-pound suspected cocaine buyer.
"The man fought us and punched one of our detectives three times in the nose," said Lt. Jesse James.
At least four officers received minor injuries, including the detective involved in the arrest, who suffered a broken nose, police said.
No other injuries were reported. Police did not say if any arrests were made, and no damage estimates were available.
A crowd, estimated at 150 at its peak, began to toss rocks and bottles at the officers. Before the violence was quelled, a grocery store was looted and set ablaze and a television news van was damaged by two shotgun blasts, police said.
The drug suspect, whose name was not released, collapsed in a police cruiser and died at St. Joseph's Hospital. Neither hospital nor police officials would discuss the nature of his injuries.