Hialeah man accused of biting off fellow camper's finger in Big Pine Key

Doctors were unable to reattach the victim's finger, officials say

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

Aurelio Rodriguez, 54, faces a charge of aggravated battery.

BIG PINE KEY, Fla. - A Hialeah man was arrested late Friday after deputies said he bit off the top of a fellow camper's finger at Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key.

Aurelio Rodriguez, 54, faces a charge of aggravated battery. 

Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said Rodriguez and the victim -- a 55-year-old man from Crestview -- had been staying at neighboring campsites. The victim and his wife stopped by Rodriguez's campsite to share a bottle of tequila, but when they arrived it appeared Rodriguez had already been drinking, Linhardt said.

The victim told deputies that Rodriguez was loud and rude and eventually lost his balance and fell to the ground. The victim tried to help Rodriguez up several times but was unsuccessful.

On the final attempt, Rodriguez then bit the victim, severing his finger, Linhardt said.

Paramedics transported the victim to Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Paramedics were able to find the victim's severed finger, but the victim said doctors at the hospital were unable to reattach it. The remaining portion of the victim's finger may also have been amputated, the victim said.

Deputies later found Rodriguez covered in blood at his campsite and arrested him, Linhardt said.

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