Saturday, September 5, 2009

The biting off of fingers

I am greatly appalled by recent news reports of people venting their frustration by biting off a person's finger. This happened most recently on Wednesday at a health care protest in Thousand Oaks, California: a demonstrator bit off the fingertip of a 65-year-old man. Also in September, a minor league football player bit off the finger of a jailer in Pasco, Washington. And it happened last month in Cape Coral, Florida: a patient bit the tip of his doctor's finger off for refusing to write a prescription. In 2005, a fan of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, irate that the rap group had canceled a performance, nearly bit off the finger of one of its members. Over the summer, two women got in a fist fight in Long Beach, California, and the 28-year-old bit off the finger of her teenaged opponent.
The legal term for this kind of assault is mayhem, the crime of wilfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to cripple or mutilate the victim. The criminal is usually charged with aggravated assault or aggravated battery, which can carry a 30-year prison sentence. A Staten Island man who bit off half the index finger of police officer in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino in 2007 just received a 15-year sentence for assault (7 years of it for the biting incident). In most of these cases, the victim's finger cannot be reattached because of the danger of infection. Human bites are often more dangerous than animal bites. But I would submit that the people who do this are animals.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.