A Los Angeles Police Department officer has lost part of his finger after being bit by a crazed homeless man.
The incident occurred on Thursday at approximately 10:15 a.m. on the Metro Red Line.
An officer on board the train had noticed the man with drug paraphernalia.
When additional officers arrived to remove him from the train, the man became combative and fought with the officers. This resulted in a use-of-force incident, though it is not clear what that was.
During the incident, the homeless man bit off a portion of a police sergeant’s pinky finger.
The officer was transported to a hospital, as was the homeless man — who reportedly had minor injuries.
Doctors confirmed that they would not be able to reattach the officer’s finger.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said he was “deeply disturbed by this vicious attack.”
“I’m deeply disturbed by this vicious attack,” said Moore. “Fortunately, we have the very best medical professionals doing their best to surgically repair this terrible injury while our people continue their work into the night to protect our transit system.”
The LAPD said in another statement that they have a “zero tolerance” policy for violence on the Metro.
“We take this matter extremely seriously and have zero tolerance for violent acts on the Metro System,” said LAPD in a statement. “We continue to work aggressively to address safety on the transit system and have directed our law enforcement partners to increase their visible presence and to actively enforce penal code violations, including enforcement of our drug-free policy.”
The homeless man has been charged with mayhem and resisting an executive order, but his identity has not been publicly released.
“It can be a little scary here sometimes,” said Dexter Norwood, a witness, according to a report from KTLA. “You just got to make sure you pay attention to your surroundings.”
Kenyson Dove, a Metro security guard, told the station that he was not surprised by the incident.
“I had to take down a guy two weeks ago just like that, smoking on the platform,” said Dove. “We told him he couldn’t smoke down here and he kept on smoking so we had an altercation with the guy.”
The report added, “the guards said they regularly see drugs, weapons, people defecating and some even having sex on the train platforms.”