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Man Bites Off Woman's Nose At GR Party


A Grand Rapids woman is recovering after police say a man bit off her nose at a house party Monday night when the two got into an argument.

Investigators say it happened around 9 p.m. at a home located in the 700 block of 5th Street NW in Grand Rapids. The couple knew each other, but it's unclear what their relationship is.

Grand Rapids Police and firefighters responded to the scene after the woman called 9-1-1 from a nearby store phone. When police arrived, they realized how serious the injuries were.

"It was a very brutal act," said Grand Rapids Police Captain Jeffrey Hertel.

"The officers found a lot of blood when they arrived and we did find evidence and parts of the nose. Our sympathies go out to her and her family. She's in a lot of pain,' said Captain Hertel.

The woman, identified as 44-year-old Polly Snyder from Grand Rapids, was treated at the scene and then rushed to the hospital.

While investigators were interviewing witnesses at the home, the suspect returned. Investigators say 56-year-old Stephen Medawis from Grand Rapids told officers he bit off the woman's nose on purpose. He was arrested and has been charged with mayhem, a 10-year felony.

"Mayhem is a very rare case. We have to show intent that that is what they want to do, disfigure somebody," explained Hertel.

Medawis was arraigned on Monday in Kent County and is being held at the Kent County jail on $50,000 bond.

Medawis has a lengthy criminal past and has previously been arrested for crimes ranging from disorderly begging, trespassing, drinking in public, littering, illegal entry, assault and battery, contempt of court, domestic violence, urinating in public and much more.

Emergency crews weren't sure if the nose could be surgically re-attached to the woman’s face. She was released from the hospital on Tuesday, but is due back for surgery Wednesday morning.

Investigators said neither the suspect or the victim lived at the home. The owner told Fox 17 he came home to find them fighting on the porch, but didn't know them well. Neighbors say the home has a reputation for parties and drugs.

Medawis has a preliminary exam scheduled for January 23rd.


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