Between all the riots, the beatings, and the occasional celebrity rabble-rousers, shit seems particularly stirred up at Rikers Island lately. And late Thursday night, ligaments were thrown into that melting pot of correctional rage, when a particularly hungry inmate bit off the tip of a correction officer's thumb in what we can only imagine was a misguided but well-intentioned attempt to give the man a permanent hitchhikers thumb.
The guard, who is from Queens but wasn't named, was trying to wake inmate Joseph Vilsaint, who had been involved with a fight with another inmate earlier in the day and was due for transport to the jail clinic. Vilsaint was only pretending to be asleep, but then grabbed the officer by the arm and bit into his hand. He chomped on his right thumb, and severed it at the base of the nail before being subdued by pepper spray (and we imagine, a hearty beatdown). Doctors were unable to reattach the tip of the guard's thumb. Two other officers were mildly injured in the melee; Vilsaint, who has been in custody since Oct. 31 on two felony assault charges, will have much to chew over when he faces new assault charges for the incident.