DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood is back to work, recovering at the police department.
Chitwood described on Tuesday how he was attacked during Bike Week.
He said it's hard to do certain things with his left hand in a cast, but he's grateful he still has his right index finger.
"I could have swore he was gonna bite it off, and I didn't want to go through my life being known as the police chief who lost his finger on main street," said Chitwood.
Chitwood said he was walking up and down Main Street during Bike Week, when Michael Dangelo, 43, approached him, saying he could kill police officers.
Chitwood says he started to walk away.
"I was walking away. I figured he's drunk, he's high, I'm just gonna walk away from this guy," said Chitwood. "Why make an issue out of it?"
It was then that Dangelo spit on the chief's back. When Chitwood tried to arrest him, a fight broke out.
"I don't know what he's saying. All I know is I got to get my finger out of his mouth, because I think my finger is coming off, that's how hard he was biting and it seemed that the harder I hit him, the more commands I gave him, the harder he was not going to let go," he said.
Chitwood broke his hand in four places, has stitches in his head, and a bite mark on his right index finger.
"There were an awful lot of people who came to my aid," said Chitwood. "They didn't come to my aid because I was a police chief. They came to my aid because I was a cop who was trying to do the right thing, and they jumped in there, and made sure I didn't lose my finger."
Chitwood says he is still waiting for test results from that bite.
Dangelo was booked into the Volusia County Jail for assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Dangelo had not posted his $10,500 bond.
Chitwood says this year's Bike Week was the most violent against Daytona Beach Police Department officers, with four other incidents where officers were hurt.
In one case, an officer injured his elbow. In another, a Sergeant broke his leg while making an arrest.
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