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Suspect bites off part of NYPD officer’s finger after bust in wild Queens pursuit

While in the precinct cells, the suspect began to act disorderly and bit off a portion of a sergeant’s finger causing a serious physical injury, said police


Howard Simmons

By Liam Quigley
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn man bit off the tip of an NYPD sergeant’s finger in a Queens police precinct holding cell after leading officers on a wild car chase, cops said Friday.

The chaos began Wednesday just before midnight when officers in Jamaica noticed a blue Nissan Altima with bogus license plates driving on Liberty Avenue near Merrick Boulevard, police said.

East Flatbush resident Lenni Rodriguez-Cruz, 28, was behind the wheel, and took off when officers tried to pull him over because his out-of-state plates were expired and registered to a different car, police said.

Rodriguez-Cruz zoomed off with the officers in pursuit, flying down Liberty Avenue and then cutting through Rufus King Park in downtown Jamaica.

Multiple people jumped out of the way of his car as he sped through the park before he went against traffic on Hillside Avenue, police said.

The chase ended when Rodriguez-Cruz smashed into four cars, including a police vehicle, on Parsons Boulevard near the Grand Central Parkway service road.

Cops arrested him there — but the mayhem continued in the holding cell of the 103rd Precinct.

There, cops say, “while being lodged in the precinct cells, the individual (Rodriguez-Cruz) began to act disorderly and bit off a portion of a sergeant’s finger causing a serious physical injury.”

A photo shared by a police source shows the officer at Jamaica Hospital holding up the injured tip of his left ring finger.

Rodriguez-Cruz was charged with driving under the influence, assault with intent to cause disfigurement or dismemberment, and other counts.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment Friday in Queens Criminal Court, where his bail was set at $250,0000 cash or $350,000 bond.