A Casper man has been charged with a felony after allegedly biting off part of a hospital employee’s finger Sunday.
Andrew Barrett, who was taken to Wyoming Medical Center on Sunday evening for an involuntary mental health hold, faces one count of aggravated assault and battery. He made his initial appearance in court Tuesday.
A Casper police officer responded to a report of Barrett being violent to hospital staff late Sunday night, arriving to find a trail of blood coming out of his room, according to an affidavit in the case. Staff said Barrett had just “bit the finger off” of a hospital security officer.
According to court documents, it took eight people — police, security officers, doctors and nurses — to restrain Barrett after the bite. Witnesses told police he had been showing signs of manic behavior before the authorities were called, quickly switching between being reasonable and resistant with hospital staff and talking about God and the devil.
In interviews with police, all witnesses said they had seen Barrett attempting to eat the stuffing out of a pillow earlier in the night. When a staff member took the pillow away, witnesses said, Barrett became combative.
The bite occurred when the security officer was called to the room to help restrain Barrett while staff tried to put a spit mask on his head — a plastic covering that stops people from spitting on or biting others. Barrett allegedly jerked his head and bit the officer’s right index finger. According to court documents, the “majority of the fingertip” was taken off, and the finger “no longer had a nail bed.”
A doctor on the scene told police the fingertip could not be reattached because of the trauma sustained and the risk of infection. Barrett was taken to the Natrona County Detention Center after being released from the hospital.
Barrett was arrested in Natrona County twice in late January, charged on both occasions with separate counts of interfering with peace officers and breaching the peace along with criminal entry and various charges related to driving and controlled substances.
If convicted of the felony assault charge, Barrett could be facing up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.