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Thread: Finger bitten off in dispute over health care reform

  1. #1
    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Default Finger bitten off in dispute over health care reform

    Finger bitten off in health-care fight

    Finger bitten off in Calif. dispute over reforming health care | Chronicle | - Houston Chronicle

    Associated Press

    Sept. 3, 2009, 10:32AM

    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — California authorities say a clash between opponents and supporters of health care reform ended with one man biting off another man’s finger.
    Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank O’Hanlon says about 100 people demonstrating in favor of health care reforms rallied Wednesday night on a street corner. One protester walked across the street to confront about 25 counter-demonstrators. O’Hanlon says the man got into an argument and fist fight, during which he bit off the left pinky of a 65-year-old man who opposed health care reform. A hospital spokeswoman says the man lost half the finger, but doctors reattached it and he was sent home the same night. She says he had Medicare. O’Hanlon says the attacker fled but authorities have a good description.

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

    Fuck you all, I'm going viral.

  2. #2
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I'm all for healthcare reform, but I'm not biting somebody's finger off. On the flip side, the 65-year-old, who opposed healthcare reform, had government-run Medicare that paid to reattach his finger. Gotta love that irony.

  3. #3
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    You got there before me on the irony part. Grandpa is a moron.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Man bites off man's finger at Obama healthcare rally

    Man bites off man's finger at Obama healthcare rally | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

    Here's a weird little piece of late-breaking news about the nation's healthcare reform debate:
    A 65-year-old man at a Wednesday night California rally supporting President Obama's embattled reform ideas had a finger bitten off during a scuffle with anti-reform protesters.
    Ventura County sheriff's deputies were called to Lynn Road and Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles, according to TV station KTLA.
    There, an estimated 100 supporters of healthcare reform affiliated with had gathered as part of a nationwide array of pre-Labor Day rallies to attract attention in support of Obama's reform plans currently before Congress.
    Instead, the rally attracted the attention of a group of anti-healthcare-reform protesters across the street.
    Initial police reports say that one pro-protester moved into the group of anti-protesters.
    Some angry words were exchanged.
    One protester punched another, a witness told KTLA.
    A scuffle ensued. And the pro-protester had a finger bitten off. (Updated at 8:18 a.m.: Conflicting later reports indicate the biter was a healthcare proponent and the now nine-fingered man an opponent.)
    The injured man walked to Los Robles Hospital with his finger for, well, healthcare.
    Sheriff's investigators were, well, investigating. Neither the biter nor the bitee were identified by midnight Pacific time.
    (Updated at 12:52 a.m.: Karoli over at DrumsnWhistles has an eyewitness account that differs from the KTLA version, involving two men behaving "quite badly.")
    -- Andrew Malcolm

  5. #5
    Gold Member Pippin69's Avatar
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    oh for the love of . . . .
    "Just because I walked into a turd supermarket doesn't mean I have to buy anything." - John Oliver

  6. #6
    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Oh boy, watch the neo-cons use this has a bullet for their gun against healthcare reform.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM


    the guy got punched in the face first
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  8. #8
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    fellow traveller


    the punk ass kid in me thinks this is awesome lol
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  9. #9
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    you already know.


    well old man, you should know by now how to pick your battles

  10. #10
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    I can't even get my brain around how it is possible to BITE OFF the finger of another person. This is insane.

  11. #11
    Silver Member cockfosters's Avatar
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    Here's a firsthand account from a blogger who attended.

    Yes, I was at the health care vigil tonight in Thousand Oaks. Yes, I saw what happened, though it was from across a very large street. I can’t tell you who said what to who, but I will tell you what the mood was, what I saw, who instigated things, and what I photographed.

    What I won’t do: I won’t publish the pictures I took of the confrontation. I didn’t capture anything other than the people in various states of verbal confrontation, and I have turned those over to the police. Because they are investigating, I won’t compromise it by publishing those pictures unless and until they give me permission. I will, however, publish my other photos which will include some taken before this incident occurred.

    There were around 150 supporters of health care reform present on the northeast corner of Lynn Road and Hillcrest in Thousand Oaks. I was one of them. To get to that corner, we had to park in the Oaks Mall parking lot, walk to the light, cross a small thruway and then cross Hillcrest, which is a very large street.[photo here looking across to those opposed, posted in real time before the incident].

    In order to get from the parking lot to the vigil, we were required to walk through the group of people opposed to health care reform. As you can see in the photo, they were originally staged right before the crosswalk to the thruway, so there was no way to avoid walking through their group.

    The mood on our side of the street was passionate, happy, and dedicated. There were no violent words spoken. For the most part, we were supported loudly by passers-by, who honked their horns and waved their support. When someone passed by who disagreed, we actually had conversations with them while they waited for the light.

    To be clear here: There were no threats, no dark moods, and there was no mob. I repeat, there was no mob. We were peaceful people holding candles and signs.

    One petite woman was also handing out single payer flyers. She was passionate about it, but not rude, not mean, always smiled, and simply offered the flyer. At some point, she crossed back over (she may have run out of her flyer supply. I don’t know for sure. But she was not in any way confrontational.)

    All of a sudden, I saw a very tall man in an orange shirt (yes, he is in the photo I linked you to) confront her, verbally at first. Her back was to the thruway, and he was shooing her, approaching her, speaking to her in a very aggressive fashion (observation from body language only) and waving his arms in a shooing motion. With each step she took back, he took one forward, shooing her more. From where I was, it appeared as though he were telling her to get on her own side of the street, and backing it up with a very clear physical threat. Even from where I stood, it chilled me. I pointed it out to others and called out for anyone with a video camera to aim it over there. (I had a small Nikon cam with me that does video, but it would have been useless in that light.)

    Ultimately, she did cross the street and come back over to our side.
    Several minutes later, there was another altercation. My best recollection is that this man saw what happened to the woman and reacted to it. I cannot say with certainty where he was when he saw it — he may have arrived and was navigating his way through that group, or he may have crossed the street to defend her. He was confronted by the same man. I could tell from where I was that the man was belligerent, angry, and confrontational.
    The man in the orange shirt hit the pro-reform guy (I’m going to call him PR Guy just to keep the players straight). Hard. (tweeted in real time) He punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and into that thruway. As you can see from the photo, cars drive straight through that without stopping. The pro-reform guy could have been run over. He got up, tried to get back up on the curb, but Orange Shirt guy was in his face. Finger in his face, PR Guy standing, steps up to the curb, and there’s a scuffle. Orange shirt seemed to have PR Guy in a hold, but again, I was across the street, so won’t state that as absolute fact. Next thing I see is PR Guy’s hat being tossed into the street, both yelling at one another, then Orange shirt walks away, PR Guy picks up hat and crosses to our side.

    When he gets to our side, he tells a story in one sentence: “He punched me hard, straight in the face, so I bit his finger off.”

    Honestly, I thought he was exaggerating. I guess he wasn’t. I’ve given this report to the police along with my photos. I am not heralding anyone as a hero here. I certainly do not celebrate the idea of anyone biting anyone else, no matter what the reason. However, there is no question that Orange Shirt guy was aching to fight, was willing to pick a fight, and certainly didn’t care who he fought with. He chose people who were shorter than he, and he used his voice, his body, his body language and his height to intimidate them.

    Don’t be fooled by reports ginning up sympathy for that 65-year old guy or worse yet, reports characterizing him as a senior citizen. He was aggressive and ready to mix it up.

    I’ll tell you more about the other hour and 15 minutes of peace, wonderful people, and stories in another post. This one is for the benefit of those who might want to hear a different side of what is sure to hit the air as a one-sided story of liberals gone wild. There were no liberals gone wild, nor were there hordes of conservatives behaving badly. There were 9 or 10 people on one corner, 150-200 on the other, and two men who, regardless of their politics, behaved quite badly.
    Enjoy the liquor and delicatessen.

  12. #12
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Thanks for that article! Very telling. Especially because this is already turning into a clusterfuck:

    Finger Bitten Off During Health Protest

    By AP / SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER Thursday, Sep. 03, 200

    (LOS ANGELES) — One man bit off part of another man's finger when a health care reform demonstration turned violent.

    William Rice said doctors did not reattach the bitten-off part of his left pinky after he got in the middle of a Southern California rally Wednesday night that he said was "very scary."

    "I didn't go out to demonstrate my beliefs, I happened to be driving by and I stopped to ask people what their purpose was," Rice, 65, said in a telephone interview Thursday. "I had no signs, I was not part of the demonstration."

    About 100 demonstrators in favor of health care reform had gathered on a Thousand Oaks street corner for an event organized by About 25 counterdemonstrators gathered across the street.

    Rice declined to say Thursday which side of the debate he falls on.

    Ventura County sheriff's spokesman Eric Buschow said a confrontation erupted after the biter crossed from the side of the street to the counterprotest, where Rice was standing.

    A loud scuffle ensued, punches were thrown, and the tip of Rice's finger was bitten off, Buschow said.

    The biter fled before authorities arrived. He could face felony mayhem charges.

    "We don't know the identity of the man who bit the finger off," Buschow said. "We want to contact him and get his side of the story."

    Buschow said authorities are piecing together the events from witness interviews.

    There are conflicting accounts of who started the fight, Buschow said. "There's a question about blurring the line between self-defense and who the primary aggressor was," he said.

    Rice was treated at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. The top joint of his pinky, including his whole fingernail, was severed, hospital spokeswoman Kris Carraway-Bowman said.

    She said his treatment was covered by Medicare.

    Finger Bitten Off During Health Protest - TIME

    2 problems with Mr. Rice's story:
    1- He's already lied. We can see him in the picture from the other article, clearly carrying a sign.
    2- He was treated by Medicare. If he's so against government-run healthcare, he needs to turn in his damn Medicare card.

    ETA- This guy is... interesting. He thought about taking his pinky finger home and 'having it bronzed to wear around my neck.'
    Last edited by Cali; September 4th, 2009 at 02:45 PM.

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