Dominican citizen sentenced for assaulting ICE officer, biting tip off ring finger, agency says

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A Dominican citizen who assaulted federal immigration officers, and bit off the tip of one agent’s ring finger during a deportation arrest, was sentenced this week to nearly four years in prison.

Christopher Santos-Felix, 29, appeared before a federal judge Monday in New York where he was also given three years of supervised release following his conviction for assaulting an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. 

Prosecutors said deportation officers were attempting to take Santos-Felix into custody at his Bronx residence on March 3, 2019, the agency said Thursday. He was initially cooperative but became combative once officers removed his handcuffs so he could get fully dressed, authorities said. 

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He pushed an officer and ran into a bedroom. As the officers tried to restrain him, Santos-Felix bit the tip off of one officer’s ring finger. 

The officer was taken to a hospital and returned to full duty several weeks later. 

“This incident is a prime example of some of the dangers that ICE officers are exposed to when conducting targeted enforcement operations,” Darius L. Reeves, deputy field office director for New York’s removal office, said in a statement.

Santos-Felix visited New York in June 2015 but overstayed, authorities said. His criminal history includes a 2016 DUI conviction and a 2018 arrest for third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

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ICE agents lodged a request with the New York Police Department to inform them when he would be released from custody so they could begin deportation proceedings against him. The request wasn’t honored and he was released from police custody, ICE said. 

ICE will begin deportation efforts once Santos-Felix is released from prison, it said. 

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