A New York man accused of biting off the middle fingertip of a police officer and swallowing it was acquitted by a jury Monday after footage of the shocking incident showed him on the ground suffering a brutal beating by police. Ainsley Johnson, 34, walked out of court a free man after being found not guilty, the New York Daily News reported. Johnson, who’d spent seven months behind bars, was released just in time to meet his fiancée and newborn son, Casey, at Maimonides Medical Center.
“He’s very happy,” said Johnson’s lawyer, Michael Biniakewitz. “His baby was born on Friday and he was released on Monday so he was able to bring his son home.” Johnson was busted for criminal mischief on April 6 after he allegedly busted the windows of a man’s BMW and destroyed his mailbox with a cement planter during an argument in Canarsie, Brooklyn, the New York Post reported. He was later charged with assault on an officer and resisting arrest in the finger-chomping incident. The bloody encounter unfolded inside a holding cell at Canarsie’s 69th Precinct where Johnson bit down on the middle finger of Officer Michael Hawk’s left hand, causing the tip to snap off at the cuticle. The whereabouts of the officer’s digit were unknown for a while, but police later determined that Johnson had indeed swallowed it. Authorities accused the Brooklyn man of resisting and giving officers a hard time, but Biniakewitz said jail surveillance tells a completely different story. In the video, the lawyer said four officers are seen throwing Johnson to the floor before jumping him. As Johnson cries out in distress to another inmate,
Hawk places his hand over his mouth in an attempt to quiet him. That’s when his finger is bitten off. “It’s as clear as day that (Johnson) wasn’t resisting and cooperative when the officer threw him to the ground,” Biniakewitz argued. “When he was on the floor, his hands were underneath him, but, with four cops sitting on him, prosecutors wanted the jury to believe my client was able to purposely move his face to the officer’s hand to bite him. He added, “Every cop on cross admitted that his hands were behind him.
” A jury took less than an hour to acquit Johnson, the New York Daily News reported. They also concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Johnson of vandalizing the car, which sparked his incident with police. “A cop loses his temper, he gets injured and the police try to fudge the report, that’s what happened here,” Biniakweitz said. Johnson, who has nine previous arrests and was once accused of raping a woman in Queens, is now considering a civil rights suit, according to his attorney. Meanwhile, Hawk, 24, suffered minor injuries and is now back at work.