Detention officer hospitalized after inmate bites ear off

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PHOENIX, Arizona (KPNX) – A Maricopa County detention officer had her ear reattached after an inmate bit it off Monday afternoon during a routine cell check at the Lower Buckeye Jail in Phoenix.

Inmate Bobby Ruiz, 20, allegedly jumped on the officer’s back during a routine cell check and pinned her to the ground while he bit her ear off, Arpaio said. No other officers were in the immediate area and eight other inmates helped stop Ruiz, Arpaio said.

Authorities could not find part of the ear and they believed Ruiz may have swallowed it.

The detention officer wants to return to work Tuesday, a spokesman said.

Ruiz faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer. Ruiz was originally convicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the statement.

Ruiz has been placed on lockdown with a diet of bread and water, Arpaio said.

“And that’s the irony of it. He’s getting a diet of nothing but bread and water and the other inmates are getting free pizza. I think they should be rewarded,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio said Ruiz has been through his jail 10 times in the past three years. Authorities are still investigating what happened.

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