Police: Iowa City man bites off another man’s finger

Coralville Finger Bite
Don’t be going around biting off fingers, people. Try a safe alternative. — photo by Chris Owens

A fight broke out Saturday that ended with felony charges and a severed finger, Coralville police say.

Shortly before 4 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of 19th Avenue in Coralville after hearing reports of a subject who had his finger “bitten off.”

During their investigation, officers determined that two men had been involved in a physical altercation that escalated into a physical fight. Witnesses told police that Gary O’Dell, 38, initiated the altercation by throwing the first punch and, subsequently, bit the index finger of his alleged victim, causing amputation of the end of the finger, the report says.

O’Dell — who lives in Iowa City — faces charges for willfully causing series injury to another, a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Read the full complaint report here.