In an incident that seems more fitting for an episode of “Law & Order” than real life, a man arrested for driving under the influence last week bit off the finger of a New York City cop.
According to the NYPD, a car chase in western Queens last Wednesday at around 11:40 p.m. kicked off a series of events that ultimately ended in the finger-biting carnage. When officers activated lights and sirens and attempted to conduct a car stop, the driver fled at a high speed.
They were trying to stop the blue 2009 Nissan Altima because it had expired out-of-state plates registered to another vehicle. Its driver – identified as 28-year-old Lenni Rodriguez-Cruz of Brooklyn – sped westbound on Liberty Avenue, through Rufus King Park.
As he barreled through the park in Jamaica, Queens, civilians had to jump out of the way, said police. Rodriguez-Cruz also allegedly drove into oncoming traffic on Hillside Avenue. Authorities said he was observed striking three motor vehicles and a marked police vehicle at Grand Central Parkway service road and Parsons Boulevard.
He was eventually placed under arrest at that location. From there, police took him to be lodged in a cell at the 103d precinct. There he “began to act disorderly and bit off a portion of a Sergeant’s finger causing a serious physical injury,” said police.
Rodriguez-Cruz was charged with the following: assault with intent to cause disfigurement or dismemberment, assault of a police officer, assault for injury on duty, reckless endangerment, fleeing an officer in motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, motor vehicle violation for operating unregistered vehicle, driving while apparently impaired and refusal to take a breath test.