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Three men charged in connection to Morgan County Deputy’s ear bitten off on the job

The deputy was taken to Huntsville Hospital where doctors determined his ear could not be reattached - and he’ll need reconstructive surgery once healed.
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 8:59 PM CST
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MORGAN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - UPDATE: The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office identified three men involved in an incident where part of a deputy’s ear was bitten off.

Morgan County deputies responded to a suicide call to assist EMS on Double S Mountain Road in the Baileyton area on December 14. Officials with the department confirm the 35-year-old male suspect bit off a deputy’s ear, sending him to the hospital.

On December 20, deputies confirm three men were charged in connection to the incident.

Joshua Martin Link, 35 of Baileyton, is charged with first-degree assault. Martin was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 22. His bond was set at $100,000.

Marty Alan Link, 57 of Baileyton, is charged with obstructing governmental operations. He is being held on a $300 bond. Justin Lee Link,32 of Baileyton, turned himself in and is charged with obstructing governmental operations and is also being held on a bond of $300.

From left to right: Justin Lee Link, Marty Alan Link
From left to right: Justin Lee Link, Marty Alan Link(Morgan County Sheriff's Office)

There are no further details at this time.

ORIGINAL: Things took a strange turn for Morgan County deputies after they responded to a suicide call to assist EMS just north of the Cullman County line Tuesday night. One of the deputy’s ear was partially bitten off while responding to the call.

The 35-year-old male suspect was threatening suicide by cop, and medical responded to the call.

“They apparently wanted to die, but wanted it to be done at the hands of law enforcement,” said Mike Swafford with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

Swafford says once deputies arrived at the scene and EMS informed the suspect he would need a psych evaluation, he then ran into a house. Then, deputies made their way inside.

“The individual latched on to our deputy’s ear and ultimately biting a good portion of it off. From there they were able to sedue him and he ultimately did end up going for the psych eval and going to the hospital,” said Swafford.

The deputy was taken to Huntsville Hospital where doctors determined his ear could not be reattached - and he’ll need reconstructive surgery once healed.

“Anytime one of our guys gets injured it’s definitely, it reminds us all of what they deal with and that, you know, there’s no such thing as a routine call,” said Swafford.

Swafford says thankfully, the deputies go through crisis intervention training to handle mental health issues.

“This is just another reminder in the long list of reminders of the mental health crisis that we deal with in Alabama. We’ll put this on the top of the list of all the other issues we deal with that come from the lack of the ability to handle mental health crisis’s,” said Swafford.

This is an ongoing investigation and charges are possible for that suspect.

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