Court documents detail events in officer biting incident

Published On: Mar 22 2013 04:22:33 PM HST

Joseph Tristan


Court documents detail the events leading up to a man biting the fingertip off of a Honolulu police officer during an arrest in Makiki on Wednesday.

Officers responded to 1114 Wilder Avenue for a report of an intoxicated man trespassing on private property just after 5:30 a.m.

The man was identified as 52-year-old Joseph Tristan with a Texas driver's license.  He was located at the apartment's trash room and trying to enter the building.

Police found that Tristan was not a resident at the building and did not have permission to be on the property.

One of the officers ordered Tristan to leave the property, according to court documents.

Tristan said, "I'm going to sue you!  You guy aren't officers.  I'm a police officer.  I'll have your jobs!"

When one of the officers proceeded to escort Tristan off of the property, Tristan became combative and argumentative.  When the officer placed Tristan under arrest, a struggle ensued.

Court documents say that Tristan bit off the fingertip from the officer's middle finger on his left hand.  The fingertip was later located on the ground.

Tristan was arrested for first-degree assault and first-degree criminal trespass.

The officer was taken to Queen's Medical Center for treatment.  The doctor said the officer sustained serious bodily injury causing permanent disfigurement.  The doctor also said the injury will cause protracted loss and/or impairment of the function of his left hand, according to court documents.


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