Jury Fully Acquits Sex Offender Who Ate NYPD Officer's Finger
Brooklyn, NY – A registered sex offender who bit off the tip of a New York police officer’s finger during a fight with police in April has been acquitted of all charges in connection with the gruesome attack.
A Brooklyn jury found repeat offender Ainsley Johnson, 34, not guilty on Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
“He’s very happy,” Johnson’s attorney, Michael Biniakewitz, told the paper. “His baby was born on Friday and he was released on Monday so he was able to bring his son home.”
Johnson was arrested on Apr. 6, after he allegedly busted out the windows of a 2003 BMW and crushed a homeowner’s mailbox with a cement planter, the New York Daily News reported.
He was transported to the 69th Precinct in Canarsie on a charge of criminal mischief, where he allegedly began fighting with NYPD Officer Michael Hawk, who was trying to re-handcuff him.
According to prosecutors, Officer Hawk told Johnson to face the wall so he could be searched, but Johnson refused, the New York Post reported.
Instead, he threw his hoodie at the officer and began flailing his arms.
Johnson and Officer Hawk fell to the ground during the altercation, at which point several other officers rushed in to help subdue the combative suspect.
During the tussle, Johnson managed to sink his teeth into Officer Hawk’s middle finger, then bit it off “from nail to tip,” police sources told the New York Daily News.
According to court documents, Johnson gnawed at the officer’s finger until “the skin and muscle to said finger was detached…and the bone to the finger was exposed,” the New York Post reported.
Before the officers could retrieve the officer’s fingertip, Johnson gulped it down and continued to fight, according to the New York Daily News.
Officer Hawk, 24, was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery.
Johnson was also transported for injuries he sustained during the altercation.
He was subsequently charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
It was at least his twelfth arrest since 2008, when he was charged for raping a woman in Queens, the New York Daily News reported.
In 2012, he was convicted of attempted sexual battery of another victim in Florida.
During trial, Biniakewitz claimed that Johnson was beaten by the officers without provocation after he tried to show them a wound on his leg, the New York Daily News reported.
Security footage from inside the precinct showed the officers wrestling with Johnson, but the camera angle did not clearly capture what occurred during the fight.
His attorney argued that the video “clearly” showed Johnson did nothing wrong.
“It’s as clear as day that [Johnson] was not resisting and cooperative when the officer threw him to the ground,” Biniakewitz said, according to the New York Daily News.
“When he was on the floor, his hands were underneath him, but, with four cops sitting on him, prosecutors wanted the jury to believe my client was able to purposely move his face to the officer’s hand to bite him,” he added.
The jury acquitted Johnson in less than an hour.
Biniakewitz said that Johnson may file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers involved.
“A cop loses his temper, he gets injured and the police try to fudge the report, that’s what happened here,” Biniakewitz alleged.
NYPD did not respond to a request for comment regarding the case as of Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.