Florida Doctor Accused of Keeping Bullet He Removed From Fugitive

A Florida doctor is accused of keeping a bullet as a trophy after removing it from a fugitive who had been shot by a U.S. Marshal — even though he told investigators he couldn't get the slug out, authorities said Friday.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Dr. David Ciesla, head of trauma at Tampa General Hospital, operated on Thomas McCoy on April 21. McCoy — who was accused in a DeFuniak Springs killing — was shot twice during his arrest.

Ciesla removed one of the bullets and hid it in his glove, apparently to keep as a souvenir or trophy, FDLE Special Agent Supervisor Bob Ura said. Two officers were waiting nearby to take the bullets as evidence, but Ciesla told them neither could be removed, Ura said.

Ura said Ciesla has no connection with McCoy or the investigating agencies. Ciesla handed over the bullet when another surgeon later reported the incident to authorities.

"It's very, very bizarre," Ura said.

McCoy survived the shooting — which officials determined was justified — and still has one of the bullets in his body. He remains in custody.

Ciesla, 42, was charged Wednesday with giving false statements to law enforcement and resisting or obstructing an officer without violence.

His attorney, John Fitzgibbons of Tampa, could not be reached for comment.