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West Allis man charged in ear-biting incident

The victim, his caretaker, said Bach suffers from brain condition

Sept. 3, 2013

West Allis — A 24-year-old West Allis man was charged on Aug. 28 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with allegedly biting off a caretaker's ear outside the Westbrook Health Center in Waukesha.

Aaron A. Bach was charged with felony mayhem and substantial battery, carrying maximum penalties of more than 43 years in prison and $110,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

Waukesha police were dispatched at 3 p.m. July 5 to Westbrook Health Center, 2315 E. Moreland Boulevard, after receiving reports of an attack in which the victim, John Friedli, had to be transported to the medical facility for treatment. He was bleeding heavily, his ear having been torn off completely.

Friedli, 47, told police he was Bach's caregiver through Bridges of Wisconsin, a Milwaukee County group home program. He had only been working with the company for a month and was responsible for transporting clients.

Friedli said that Bach suffered from an inoperable, benign brain tumor which reduced his mental capacity to that of a 5-year-old and caused impulse control issues.

The man had actually bitten him the day before, Friedli said, and they were at the Waukesha hospital in part to determine whether Friedli needed antiobiotics for the wound. Bach also was being treated for several toe nails he had apparently chewed off.

Friedli said he was having trouble controlling Bach during his examination and they decided to leave. Bach refused to put a seatbelt on and Friedli was told by a supervisor that it was required that he wear one.

Bach "flipped out," Friedli said.

"Friedli stated the next thing he knew, Aaron stated, 'Now I got you,' and his ear was off," the complaint states.

Friedli said he was "shocked" and told police Bach had a history of ripping people's hair out.

Doctors told police it would not be possible to reattach Friedli's ear and he would require reconstructive surgery.

Friedli told police he did not want Bach to go to jail for what happened.

Bach is expected to make an initial appearance in court on Sept. 23.

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