Transient Sentenced for Biting Off Part of Venice Restaurant Owner’s Finger

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Clabe Hartley sits in front the Cow’s End on March 23, 2015, two days after a transient bit his finger off at the Venice cafe. (Credit: KTLA)

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A 31-year-old transient was sentenced Wednesday to two years in state prison for biting off the fingertip of a coffee shop owner in Venice.

Jonathan Shain Lemmons pleaded no contest to one count of mayhem before being sentenced, according to a news release from the the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Clabe Hartley is seen wearing a bandage on Sunday, March 22, 2015, the day after part of his finger was bitten off in a scuffle at his restaurant in Venice. (Credit: KTLA)
Clabe Hartley is seen wearing a bandage on Sunday, March 22, 2015, the day after part of his finger was bitten off in a scuffle at his restaurant in Venice. (Credit: KTLA)

The incident occurred March 21 outside the Cow’s End Cafe, when a group of customers complained about a man who they said had been harassing them for money, according to business owner Clabe Hartley.

When Hartley asked the man to leave, the transient began punching and scratching him, said Lt. Lydia Leo of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Two or three patrons joined the scuffle, in an attempt to help Hartley, Leo said. The fight continued on the ground, and at some point the suspect bit the restaurant owner’s finger, witnesses told police.

Clabe Hartley is healing March 23, 2015, two days after a transient bit his fingertip off at his Venice cafe. (Credit: KTLA)
Clabe Hartley is healing March 23, 2015, two days after a transient bit his fingertip off at his Venice cafe. (Credit: KTLA)

“I was bleeding like an open faucet. There was blood all over out there,” Hartley told KTLA after the attack. “I could see the openness (of the finger). It was missing a piece.”

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