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Hardline Arizona sheriff suffers broken shoulder in fall

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses the media about a simulated school shooting in Fountain Hills, Arizona, February 9, 2013. REUTE
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses the media about a simulated school shooting in Fountain Hills, Arizona, February 9, 2013. REUTE

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A controversial 80-year-old Arizona lawman, who styles himself as America's toughest sheriff and is known for targeting illegal immigrants, broke his left shoulder on Thursday after taking a spill in downtown Phoenix, authorities said.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was being treated for the shoulder fracture at a local hospital and will not require surgery, said sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Allen. It was not clear if he will remain overnight.

"He's feeling fine," Allen said in a telephone interview from the hospital. "He's hurting a little right now, but he should be back to work in a few days."

Arpaio was on his way to lunch when he tripped on a pipe and fell to the ground, she said. He was taken to the emergency room for diagnosis and treatment.

Arpaio, famous nationwide for his tent city jail and immigration roundups, was re-elected for his sixth term last November after facing his stiffest challenge yet. He is facing lawsuits from the federal government and Hispanic drivers who accuse him of racial profiling and civil rights abuses, which he denies.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Tim Dobbyn)

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