Man accused of biting off part of victim’s ear

A South Whidbey love triangle led to “a brutal beating” in which part of a man’s ear was bitten off, Island County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme said.

Freeland resident Ignacio E. Rivera, 47, was brought into Island County Superior Court Wednesday for a preliminary appearance hearing.

Judge Alan Hancock found probable cause existed to believe Rivera committed the crimes of burglary in the first degree and assault in the second degree. He set Rivera’s bail at $25,000.

Prosecutors charged Rivera March 15 with the crimes.

Rivera was upset with the man because the man’s live-in girlfriend claimed he had assaulted her, according to the report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. The two men were also coworkers.

Rivera went to the man’s home in Clinton March 13 and attacked him as he answered the door. The two men ended up on the ground, punching each other. He some point Rivera bit part of the man’s ear off, the report indicates.

The deputy wrote that he saw “a small fleshy looking object” on the floor of the kitchen.

The victim’s injuries included a fracture under one eye and a broken nose. He will have to get a skin graft to close the ear wound but will still have a permanent disfigurement, the report states.

If convicted of the charges against him, Rivera could face up to two years and 10 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.

Ignacio Rivera appears in Island County Superior Court.

Ignacio Rivera appears in Island County Superior Court.

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