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Man Allegedly Slices Another Man's Ear Off Over Unpaid Debt

SANTA MONICA (CBS) — A Los Angeles man faces charges of mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon after police say he sliced another man's ear off over an unpaid debt.

Jerry Lee Ries, 42, was arrested April 13, at an apartment building in the 1500 block of 15th Street in Santa Monica. Police say he was found in possession of methamphetamine, some drug paraphernalia and bottles of hydrocodone and Alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety.

Ries allegedly argued with the victim near Parking Structure 10 two nights prior about an unpaid debt. The victim apparently owed Reis $400, but was only able to produce $360, Santa Monica police Sgt. Rich Lewis said.

"We believe its a narcotics debt," Lewis said.

The two men fought, Lewis said, and Ries produced a knife and slashed the victim's face, which took off his left ear. When police went back to the scene, they found the ear in a trash can, but it could not be reattached.

The victim passed the wound off as a dog attack at the hospital and to his girlfriend, but decided to call police several hours later, Lewis said.

Ries was arrested on suspicion of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance. He was released Tuesday after posting $100,000 bail.

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