Man who allegedly chomped off part of LAPD officer’s finger is ID’d

Walk of Fame stars line the sidewalk near a  Metro Hollywood / Highland sign
LAPD officers patrol the Hollywood/Highland Metro Station as tourists pass in June 2020.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police Friday identified a 36-year-old man arrested on suspicion of biting off a portion of an officer’s finger on the Metro Red Line during a combative arrest.

Ephraim Okorie was accused of mayhem and resisting an executive order and was booked into jail on $100,000 bail, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

The incident occurred around 10:15 p.m. Thursday at an unidentified Red Line station when officers saw a man board a train allegedly carrying drug paraphernalia.


The officers took the man off the train, according to the LAPD, and he became violent and fought the officers. A portion of a sergeant’s finger was bitten off in the fracas, and officers used force to detain him.

The injured officer was not identified.

The suspect received minor injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Commuters have abandoned large swaths of a Los Angeles Metro train system plagued by crime and the scourge of drugs.

March 14, 2023

In a statement, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said he was “deeply disturbed by the vicious and gruesome attack” on the sergeant and his police colleagues who “were simply conducting routine patrol of the transit line.”

“We remain committed to our work each day to improve the safety of the entire transit system with dedicated patrols engaging those who pose a risk to the safety of others” the statement said.

On the heels of sordid revelations about police behavior, the city of Antioch and its Police Department have been named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging police brutality and racial discrimination.

April 27, 2023

Two stabbings at Red Line stations in recent weeks reignited concerns about passenger safety on the system. The line runs between downtown and North Hollywood.

According to its annual crime report, Metro has seen a dramatic increase in violent crimes, with a 24% increase in aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder from 2021 to 2022. The Red Line had nearly twice as many violent crimes, 687, as the next line, Blue, the report said.

At the same time, ridership has plummeted on Metro rail in recent years. Overall commuter numbers rose 12% last year, compared with 2021, but the 57 million estimated train riders were still far below the 93 million reported in 2019, according to Metro. Ridership on the Red Line in particular was 56% of pre-pandemic levels.


Times staff writer Nathan Solis contributed to this report.