US tourist in court for biting off man’s lip

An American tourist who bit off a man's bottom lip during a fight at Munich’s Oktoberfest was given a suspended sentence by a German court on Monday.

US tourist in court for biting off man's lip
The attack took place inside the Oktoberfest tent. Photo: DPA

The American woman, named as Tesia D., was sentence to one year and nine months suspended after she ripped off three centimetres of flesh from a 23-year-old man's lip.

Victim, Australian Ben M., was celebrating in the popular Hofbräu tent at the beer festival with friends on September 27th when Tesia D. put her elbow in one of his friend’s faces.

Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday that a fight then started during which the 30-year-old American bit down on the lower lip of Australian for several seconds. A piece of flesh was ripped from his lip.

She told the court on Monday: “I find it difficult to explain why I did it.”

Ben, from Melbourne, told police: “She took my lip between her teeth and bit harder and harder. I tried to break away. She turned her head and tore my lip off. My lip was lying on the floor. I thought I was unconscious.”

Doctors tried to sew the lip back on that day but the operation did not work. The piece of flesh died off.

Tesia D. paid Ben €11,000 compensation, Bild reported, but in an email to the court he said he was still suffering.

“I had to learn to speak again. I can’t kiss anymore,” he said.

Tesia has been in prison since the attack and is due to fly back to the US on Tuesday. 

READ MORE: Man loses car for five weeks at Oktoberfest

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IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

Around 700,000 people braved the wet and cold weather to attend the first weekend of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, according to estimates by festival management.

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

That is significantly less than the around one million visitors seen in 2019, the last time the festival took place as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

“We want the weather gods to remember what decent Wies’n [Oktoberfest] weather looks like,” festival head and CSU politician Clemens Baumgärtner said, German news agency DPA reported.

Man and woman in lederhosen at Oktoberfest

A man and a woman in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses arrive for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich on September 17, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival opened on Saturday and the first guests were already queuing outside the entrances before sunrise to secure their spot at the front of a beer tent when the site was opened. The first tents closed their doors around noon.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants of the traditional costume parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival arrive on September 18, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

But the Schottenhamel tent (the oldest at the Oktoberfest) spokesperson, Christian Schottenhamel, said the numbers of people visiting the tents this year were similar to that seen in 2019, DPA said.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants dressed as fools perform during the festival’s traditional costume parade on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

He reported that the atmosphere was euphoric, with people just happy to be celebrating Oktoberfest again.

Oktoberfest beer tent visitors

The first visitors arrive and reserve places in a beer tent during the opening of the festival on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival has attracted a mixed audience so far, including families with children and visitors from abroad, such as from the United States and France.

But the spokesperson for the smaller tents, Otto Lindinger, said the audience was getting younger, noting strong demand for meat-free dishes, although the Oktoberfest chicken was said to still be a hit.

Visitors celebrate at Oktoberfest

Visitors jostle for a Maß in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Over on the south side of the festival area, head of the museum tent Yvonne Heckl described the atmosphere in the traditional ‘Oide Wies’n’, or old Oktoberfest, area as “chilled and calm”.

The festival lasts until October 3rd, as German Unity Day falls on the Monday after the last Oktoberfest Sunday.