A white man flaunting a hoodie with “Confederate symbolism” was arrested outside of a Dickson County, Tennessee convenience store after biting a senior citizen’s finger tip off on Sunday, local news station WKRN reports.
The perpetrator, Dylan McKinney, admitted from behind county jail bars that he had been drinking when the incident occurred but denied being on drugs. He alleges that the 71-year-old black man put his fingers in McKinney’s mouth.
“It sounds gruesome, but I don't regret biting a man's finger off when he stuck it in my mouth and tried to tear my jaw off,” said McKinney.
McKinney said that he was waiting for his fiancé to come back from inside the convenience store when the fight broke out.
“Whenever he walks out of the store, I said ‘Hello’,” said McKinney, referring to the 71-year-old victim. According to McKinney, the senior called McKinney out for wearing the hoodie with Confederate symbolism.
“He said ‘F you son of a B’ or something like that. There was no other reason to say that to me other than what I had on.”
Denise Knowles, the daughter of the 71-year-old victim, wished to keep the identity of her father, a Vietnam veteran, anonymous, though she did share pictures of the wounds he sustained. “All of the scars will heal, the black eye, the stitches in his face, even his finger will heal, my concern is what is inside,” she said.
She relayed his account of the incident.
“He was at the counter and said someone was staring at him. And this guy was staring at him. And the guy was standing between my dad and my dad's truck, so my dad had to walk around him, and my dad said words were passed between them. I don't know who said what but the words ‘F you B’ was passed.”
She said that it was “possible” that her father was the one who started the incident with the verbal attack, but for reasons that were not entirely unwarranted.
“This man is standing in the pathway to my dad getting to his truck. My dad said he reached for his door handle and by this time the guy grabbed him and slammed him to the ground. So, he apparently was punching my father, and all he knew to do was cover his head which is why his finger got in his mouth,” said Knowles.
“He bit the tip of my father's finger off. That is not alcohol. That is out of control rage. He said he reached for this guy's eye and it didn't faze this guy. Then he stomps my dad, stomps my father and a man drove up, and he pushed the guy off my father, and my dad got in his truck and called 911."
The District Attorney is launching an inquiry to determine whether the incident is qualified as a hate crime.