Minneapolis officer seriously bitten in arrest

Police say an officer responding to a report of a man suffering a mental health crisis in south Minneapolis suffered a serious bite injury on Tuesday.

The Hennepin County Attorney charged 54-year-old James Curtis Dawkins of Minneapolis on Wednesday with felony assault.

Police say Dawkins was suffering a mental health crisis Tuesday around 5:45p, when two Minneapolis police officers, Chad Meyer and Laura Turner, responded to a home on the 2400 block of 10th Avenue South. Dawkins allegedly attacked both officers. Authorities say during the struggle Dawkins bit down on Meyer's gloved hand and took off his finger at the first knuckle.

Meyer was treated at Hennepin County Medical Center, but his finger could not be reattached.

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Police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer says the department had visited the home before.

"My understanding is that we had been to that same address several times in the last two years and that we have had to physically subdue that same subject in these kinds of circumstances in the past," Palmer said.

Several officers subdued Dawkins with the help of a Taser, according to Palmer.

Palmer says Meyer was bitten before two members of the department's Crisis Intervention Team were able to get there. Those officers are specially trained to deal with mental health crises.

Reporter Rupa Shenoy contributed to this story.