By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man remains under treatment at a Lima hospital after losing nearly one-third of his tongue during an altercation early Saturday morning.
Chad D. Ringo, 29, 1127 Princeton Drive, sustained the injury while in the company of Emily Mescher, 25, 725 Lilac St., Coldwater.
The pair had been together earlier in the evening, but an altercation broke out while they were in the 100 block of South Main Street and she allegedly bit off his tongue.
"From physical evidence found at the scene, we believe the injury was inflicted outside in the vicinity of Etcetera," Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard.
A 911 call was placed from nearby Smedley's Irish Grill & Pub, 107 S. Main St. An unidentified employee of the establishment found the severed portion of the tongue on the sidewalk and reportedly wrapped it in a clean towel. One person at the scene reportedly described the piece as large enough to cover the face on a dollar bill. Ringo was taken by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and later transferred aboard a LifeFlight emergency helicopter to St. Rita's Medical Center. He remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit.
Slusser indicated attempts to reattach the severed portion were unsuccessful.
Police continue to investigate the incident. Interviews have been conducted with people who were in the vicinity when the offense occurred, but Slusser declined to comment further because he said the information was not ready for release.
"The suspect appeared to be intoxicated and did not give us a clear idea of what happened," the chief replied to more questioning.
Slusser also refused to give the name of the suspect who was booked into the Mercer County Jail at 2:09 a.m. Saturday on a preliminary charge of felonious assault.
A public records request made to jail officials yielded Mescher's name as well as information that she was transferred to the Van Wert County Jail following booking and held until 12:30 p.m. when 10 percent of her $10,000 cash bond was posted. The local jail no longer houses female prisoners due to space limitations.
Mescher is scheduled to appear in Celina Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. today on the second-degree felony charge.