FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A Connecticut man who had part of his tongue bitten off during an alleged sexual assault was arraigned Monday on multiple charges.
The scene of the crime is a beautiful garden path just outside St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church.
The attack occurred just beyond Stamford’s downtown streetlights last Thursday.
The victim was walking along the garden path between the church and the rectory when the man approached and asked for a hug. She said no, and the attacker forced her into the bushes.
The attack lasted almost five minutes, but didn’t end the way the attacker planned. The woman, in her 50s, fought back so forcibly that she bit off the tip of her assailant’s tongue.
As he fled bleeding, she went the other way for help.
The attack was caught on security camera, and police said they are reviewing the footage.
Police believe 46-year-old Gerard Michael Landon attacked the parishioner. He was arrested on Friday after continuing what police said was a series of assaults.
“Groping women, poking them with an umbrella, he went into a store and groped a woman,” Stamford Police Lieutenant James Matheny said. “While he was doing that, he took the time to stick his head into a local chiropractor’s office and asked if they could treat his tongue.”
Police chased the suspect through the Ridgeway Shopping Center. They told CBS 2 that he didn’t go quietly, spewing blood from his injured tongue all over the arresting officers.
“A pretty lengthy foot pursuit ensued, and when he was caught by some of our guys, he put up a good fight,” Lt. Matheny said.
Landon was arraigned Monday and held on $550,000 bail. Prosecutors said they’re pretty sure the tongue tip, now in a refrigerator at Stamford police headquarters, will seal the deal on a conviction.
The victim’s neighbors said they believe she deserves a lot of credit for the way she fought.
“She showed the guy,” Stamford resident Glen Glasange said.
Landon was able to speak in court, although his voice was somewhat thick. He told his attorney he wasn’t suicidal, and denied having psychiatric problems, although he does apparently have a psychiatrist.
A native of the Virgin Islands, Landon has lived in Stamford for years His only previous criminal charge was a drug possession arrest in California 12 years ago.