Casper Man Bites Security Guard’s Finger Off, Enters Alford Plea
A Casper man appeared before Judge Catherine Wilking in Natrona County District Court for a change of plea hearing today.
Andrew B. Barrett was charged with a single count of aggravated assault, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Barrett's Public Defender, Joseph Cole, informed the judge that Barrett wished to enter an Alford plea.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea in which the defendant maintains their innocence but admits the prosecution's evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial.
Court records indicate the alleged incident occurred on February 1st, 2021 at Wyoming Medical Center where Barrett was taken on an involuntary mental health hold.
Documents allege he was "exhibiting manic behaviors, speaking of god and the devil and other various topics."
Barret was reportedly eating the stuffing from inside a pillow, and when staff tried to remove the pillow, he became violent.
Nurses, doctors, and two security officers attempted to restrain him and put a spit mask on his head.
Documents allege that one of the security officers was unable to maintain a grip on his head and Barrett bit the tip of her index finger, starting at the nailbed, completely off.
The doctor in the room said the fingertip would not be able to be reattached due to the "trauma and risk of infection."
A witness said it took at least "six people, maybe more" to get Barrett into a restraint system.
In court today, Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson told the judge that methamphetamine use by the defendant was involved.
Judge Wilking said that there is very strong evidence in the affidavit that Barrett is actually guilty, but she accepted his Alford plea.
Sentencing will take place at a later date.
In today's appearance, Barrett was being seen for only the incident described above.
However, it is worth noting that over a year after the alleged incident at the hospital occurred, in August 2022, officers responded to a report of a family fight.
When they arrived they heard Barrett screaming in the background. This per an affidavit from court records.
Officers entered the home to find Barrett on top of his father with Barrett's mother on top of her son trying to pull him off.
The officers separated the parties and placed Barrett in cuffs.
When they attempted to speak to Andrew, he allegedly said he had used "the Devil's dandruff"--later clarifying that it was meth.
Barrett's father was visibly bleeding from the hand area, and had visible bite marks on his chest and arms. He was transported to Wyoming Medical Center by ambulance.
In a later interview, the victim told investigators that his son had, in fact, attacked him and bit him (once on the hand, once on the chest). Barrett's mother corroborated the story.
Barrett was later charged with three domestic battery charges, one being a felony.
He was taken to the Natrona County Detention Center.