James McKenzie may have bitten off more than he could chew. The man from Edinburgh, Scotland found himself on the street spitting out a large piece of his tongue after 27-year-old Bethaney Ryan allegedly ripped into it with her own teeth during a violent confrontation.
But the incident was not over, as a large seagull then swooped down and snatched the chunk of human tongue muscle, quickly flying away before the wounded Scotsman could get it back.
Because the hungry bird took off with the bloody piece of tongue and ate it, reattachment surgery was out of the question, according to reports.
Last Thursday, after Ryan appeared before a judge to plead guilty to the gruesome assault, the Edinburgh Sheriff Court was informed of the bizarre incident, which has left the victim mangled for the rest of his life.
Prosecutor Susan Dickson described the incident, saying the two battled it out after passing each other at the capital’s Leith Walk around 8pm on Aug. 1, 2019.
Dickson said the two of them did not know one another, but somehow “an argument developed” between the pair and it was stated before the court that Ryan had tried to leave the confrontation at first.
The prosecutor described how McKenzie persisted in being aggressive toward Ryan and walked toward her once again with “a clenched fist.”
Dickson explained: “Miss Ryan, somewhat oddly, responded to that by pushing him on the body and kissing him.
“She kissed him on the lips and during the course of that she bit through his tongue which caused a piece of his tongue to be removed,” she continued.
“Mr McKenzie walked off and spat a part of his tongue out at which point the piece of muscle was picked up by a large seagull that made off with the piece of tongue.”
The prosecutor informed the court that the piece of tongue permanently removed from McKenzie’s mouth during the fight measured about two centimeters by three centimeters.
Ryan was later taken into police custody, and McKenzie was sent to a hospital for medical care, where “the laceration to his tongue” was described as “oozing blood.”
The prosecutor went on to say: “He did not require surgery given the piece of tongue was no longer available and could not be reattached.”
Solicitor Neil Martin, the defense attorney, argued that the attack by his client, who hails from Lochend, Edinburgh, was “a very strange incident in the round” but also said that he would hold his full abatement for the sentencing hearing.
Sheriff Nigel Ross stated that “because of the serious nature of the incident” he would like to defer sentencing until the preparation of reports for later this year.
Ryan then pleaded guilty to assaulting James McKenzie by pushing him on the body, kissing him, and then biting off a portion of his tongue which caused his serious injury and permanent physical damage at Leith Walk, Edinburgh on Aug. 1, 2019.
The public weighed in on Twitter with surprise regarding the violent Scottish conflict, with one user saying, “This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of someone biting someone else’s tongue off. Surely of all the body parts, the tongue is the most protected?”
“Life Lesson 109,994,998: Don’t get into street brawls with Scottish women,” another user shared.
Another account summed up the event perfectly in one word: “Speechless.”
It remains unclear what the initial argument was about that led to the quick escalation in the grisly incident.