A separatist calling himself a “sovereign Hebrew Israelite citizen” bit off the end of a Knoxville (TN) Police Department officer’s thumb during a fight on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Knoxville PD Officer Trey Lane was in surgery for his thumb as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a police news release. A second officer, Tim Edwards, was taken to a hospital with a leg injury following the fight, reports knoxnews.com.

Alexander Ray Johnson, 29, of Knoxville, was driving an Acura MDX on Woodbine Avenue just after 1:15 p.m. when the officers pulled him over for speeding, according to the release.

The car had no legal license plate — only a “Sovereign Hebrew” plate that purported to be issued by the “Royal Tribe of Judah,” police said.

When the officers began arresting Johnson, he allegedly resisted and bit off the end of Lane’s thumb.

Johnson, who was not injured in the fight, was arrested and is being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility on traffic charges. He was to be charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

A woman in the car was detained for questioning and is expected to be released.


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