Fifth Estate # 284, July, 1977

THISTED, Denmark—Police are looking for a jobless worker who bit off the ear of a labor exchange official and left it wrapped in paper with the handwritten message: “This is your ear.” The victim was Arne Jensen, head of the Koldby labor exchange office near here.

Police identified Jensen’s assailant only as a 34-year-old worker who had been jobless for a long time and repeatedly had refused to take the jobs offered by the labor exchange. Police said he came rushing into the office after Jensen phoned him to say there was a job for him as a farm hand. The man made it clear he did not want that kind of work and then reacted violently at the prospect of losing his unemployment relief.

Jensen told police the irate worker jumped over a counter, knocked him to the floor and dug his teeth into his left ear. Jensen fainted and when he came to his attacker had vanished. But on the counter was the ear, wrapped in paper. A charwoman and one of Jensen’s colleagues put the ear in a glass of salt water and took it and its owner to the nearest hospital. Doctors put the ear back in its right place, but told Jensen it probably would never be quite the same. Police said the ear-biting man would be charged with assault and battery.