04/11/2013 12:59 pm ET

James Curtis Dawkins Charged With Biting Off Piece Of Officer Chad Meyer's Finger

A police officer had a piece of his finger bitten off Tuesday afternoon when he was dispatched to a mental health emergency, according to authorities.

Police say that 54-year-old James Curtis Dawkins, described as an "emotionally disturbed" man, was experiencing a breakdown when two officers, Chad Meyer and Laura Turner, arrived to assist him at his south Minneapolis home, CBS News reports.

Meyer and Turner were immediately attacked by the suspect when they arrived.

KSTP reports:

Dawkins bit down onto police officer Meyer's gloved left index finger, the complaint said. Meyer screamed, but Dawkins continued biting down until the officer's finger was bitten off at the first knuckle. Dawkins was eventually subdued and arrested.

Doctors were unable to reattach the finger, according to MPR News.

Dawkins is charged with first degree assault.