Oklahoma detention officer recovering after inmate bites off parts of his ears

OKLAHOMA CITY - Deputies with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office are praying for a speedy recovery after a five-year veteran with the agency was injured Saturday.

"The detention officer was just going in to pick up a tray when out of nowhere the inmate jumped on him and just started hitting and kicking him, knocking him to the ground," said Mark Opgrande with the sheriff’s office.

The inmate is 22-year-old Benjamin Malcom Buford, in jail as he awaits trial for sexual battery.

The officer reportedly crawled from the cell to the corridor, and Buford chased him down, continuing to punch and kick the officer in the face.

“He also bit pieces off of both of his ears and, at one point, was trying to gouge out one of his eyes,” Opgrande said.

The encounter left the officer covered in blood.

"He was fighting for his life at that moment," Opgrande said. "It happened so fast the officer didn’t even have time to call in on his radio for help. Thankfully, they were, of course, monitoring on our surveillance system. They called for backup, and detention officers arrived and were able to take that inmate into custody."

The surveillance video has since been turned over to the district attorneys office. The officer's identity is being withheld.

Sheriff P.D. Taylor visited the officer in the hospital Sunday and said he is in high spirits. He has since been released and is recovering at home.

Buford now faces additional charges for aggravated assault and battery on an officer and maiming by disfigurement.