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Drunk driver bites off police officer's thumb in east Taiwan

Officer's thumb successfully reattached by surgeons after intoxicated elderly man bit it off

(Photo from member of public)

(Photo from member of public)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an intoxicated rage, an elderly man bit off part of a police officer's thumb on Monday evening (Nov. 15), necessitating surgery to reattach the severed digit.

On Monday evening, a police officer spotted a 71-year-old retired civil servant surnamed Liu (劉) driving erratically on an electric scooter in Hualien City. When the officer pulled Liu over, he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and bit off a part of the officer's thumb.

According to the Hualien County Police Department, the head of Meilu Police Station, Wang te-lin (王德麟), was patrolling Hualien City's Meilun District late at 11 p.m. on Monday. When passing the intersection of Fuqian Road and Yongxing Road, Wang saw Liu riding an electric scooter that was swaying from side to side and ran two red lights, reported Up Media.

Wang sounded his siren and pulled Liu over. When Wang asked that Liu submit to a breathalyzer test, Liu repeatedly asked, "Is it really that serious?"

Drunk driver bites off police officer's thumb in east Taiwan
Liu being pulled over by Wang. (Hualien County Police Department photo)

Liu said that he was a retired civil servant and rattled off a long list of officials he claimed to be connected with in Hualien County. Unfazed by Liu's alleged connections, Wang insisted that Liu follow the law and have his blood alcohol level tested.

However, Liu then sprawled onto the ground and started smashing his head into the asphalt. Wang restrained Liu's head to prevent him from further injuring himself.

When Wang began to try to put Liu into the patrol car, Liu bit off his left thumb at the first knuckle and spit it into the squad car. Despite suffering a serious injury, Wang first made sure to take Liu to the police station before tending to his thumb.

After he found his severed digit, he took it with him to the Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital for treatment. Doctors then performed surgery on his thumb to reattach the severed segment.

Drunk driver bites off police officer's thumb in east Taiwan
Wang (center) being visited by Hualien County Police Chief Tsai Ting-hsien (left). (Taiwan News)

After police were finally able to administer a breathalyzer test on Liu, they found that his blood-alcohol level was 0.65mg/l, well above the legal limit of 0.15mg/l. He was then transferred to the District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for causing bodily harm (重傷害罪), offenses against public safety (公共危險罪), and interfering with public functions (妨害公務罪).