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May 16, 2006 - San Antonio Express-News (TX)

Editorial: DEA Agent Shoots Foot Twice

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Lee Paige didn't get much notoriety as an NFL player.

He played three games during his NFL career -- for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' replacement team during the 1987 strike.

Paige then entered law enforcement, eventually joining the Drug Enforcement Agency.

His DEA career -- honorable and often fraught with danger -- also didn't make him famous.

In 2004, Paige gave a drug education presentation to a Florida youth group.

Part of his address dealt with the danger of guns.

After warning the children that he was the only person in the room professional enough to carry his sidearm, a Glock .40 caliber, the weapon accidentally discharged, striking Paige in the foot, the Associated Press reported.

Most people still don't know who Lee Paige is.

But, says Paige in legal documents, Google produces 374,000 hits for a search on "DEA agent shoots himself."

And millions of people around the world have seen video of the incident on the Internet and on television.

Now all this publicity is making Paige "the target of jokes, derision, ridicule and disparaging comments."

He can't work undercover any longer.

As a result, Paige has filed a lawsuit against the DEA for allegedly leaking the video. He's seeking unspecified damages.

Somehow, this legal maneuver seems unlikely to lower Paige's profile or stem the ridicule he's endured.

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