Kingsport PD: Officer whose finger was partially bit off in June 2020 arrest presented with Purple Heart

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – An officer in the Kingsport Police Department has been presented with the Purple Heart after part of his finger was bitten off during an arrest.

According to a release from KPD, Corporal David Johnson received the award after a suspect bit off the top of his pinky finger on June 6.

The part of Johnson’s finger that was bitten off was not able to be reattached, according to KPD.

Reports from the incident allege that Alex Jessee, of Norton, Virginia was intoxicated and acting aggressively at an apartment complex playground when officers arrived.

During the confrontation, Jessee resisted arrest and bit off the top of Johnson’s left pinky finger before taking his TASER and using it on him. Jessee also allegedly bit Johnson’s arm during the incident.

“Corporal Johnson continued to effect the arrest, even while enduring excruciating pain,” the release says.

The severed part of Johnson’s finger was recovered, but it was unable to be reattached.

Johnson was placed on medical leave following the arrest and required specialized medical treatment before he was able to return to active duty.

Jessee was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism and public intoxication.

“For his efforts and consequent serious injury sustained during this violent encounter, Corporal Johnson has been presented with the Purple Heart,” according to the release.

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