Photos released in mall finger-biting assault

A woman who police allege had bitten the finger of another woman at the Cherry Hill Mall parking lot was captured on surveillance images released by authorities.
A woman who police allege had bitten the finger of another woman at the Cherry Hill Mall parking lot was captured on surveillance images released by authorities.
Posted: March 13, 2014

Police have seen arguments over parking spots at Cherry Hill Mall, but the one that unfolded Saturday when a woman nearly bit off another's finger has launched an investigation that authorities say stands out even among the department's more unusual ones.

On Tuesday, authorities released grainy surveillance images of two women and two younger males. They hope someone will recognize them and provide their identities to police.

"We've had disputes in the parking lot, but I've never seen anyone nearly have their finger bitten off," said Cherry Hill Detective Sgt. Rick Humes. "We're looking for the identities of both women."

Saturday's nice weather prompted more shoppers to go to the mall, after a cold winter with lots of snow that kept people inside on weekends.

Police were called at 4:43 p.m. to Aisle 18 in the parking lot, by Nordstrom. A driver had been waiting to pull into a spot when another driver pulled in first.

The 42-year-old driver, from Philadelphia, told authorities she did not know that the other driver had been waiting for the spot until the two women in the car got out and confronted her, police said.

The verbal dispute escalated into a physical altercation, with one woman biting down on the finger of the victim so hard that it was nearly severed, police said.

Humes said it was unclear which driver got to the parking space first. The incident turned into an aggravated assault, he said.

The victim was treated at Cooper University Hospital. Authorities said the finger, which was hanging by just a thin piece of skin, was reattached.

Police believe the attack was carried out by a woman in her mid-30s. She was described as a black female, heavyset, with "bushy" hair, who authorities believe was driving a dark-colored older model Audi sedan.

On Tuesday, police also released photos of the other woman with the alleged attacker, and two male teenagers they believe were with the driver.

Anyone who witnessed the dispute or knows the identity of those in the images is asked to call the Cherry Hill Police Department at 856-488-7828.


bboyer@phillynews.com

856-779-3838 @BBBoyer

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