A man pepper-sprayed several individuals and bit another man’s finger off at an Upper East Side mosque on Monday afternoon, police and eyewitnesses said.
The gruesome incident took place at the Islamic Cultural Center School NYC, located on 222 East 97th Street at approximately 2:20 p.m. on Sept. 19.
According to an eyewitness who requested to remain unnamed, a man was lurking near the area where females worship when another man asked him to leave the area. A verbal dispute soon escalated in a physical altercation.
“He put pepper spray in the eye of that guy and all of us got that!” The eyewitness told amNewYorkMetro, explaining that he was also pepper-sprayed and had to seek medical attention. “I’m okay, they had to flush my eyes.”
The fight grew so out of control that the suspect bit off the tip of a 60-year-old man’s finger, leaving a trail of blood inside and outside the mosque. Emergency Medical Services transported the victim to an area hospital where he is said to be in stable condition.
The eyewitness also told amNewYork Metro that he recognized both men as previous visitors to the house of worship.
Police have the unidentified suspect in custody, with charges pending as of publication time Monday.