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Goalie loses part of finger in San Diego soccer melee

Tuesday July 09, 2002

SAN DIEGO — A soccer goalie had a piece of his finger bitten off when a brawl erupted during a recreational match between two adult teams, police said. 

The dispute started when a referee whistled a foul in the penalty box toward the end of a closely contested tie game between the Jaliscos and the Haciendas on Sunday, said Sgt. Tracy Dishno. 

The foul could have produced a decisive penalty kick but the ensuing benches-clearing brawl ended the game. About 20-30 people started fighting on the field, Dishno said. 

The mother of one of the two players involved in the foul ran onto the field and was struck by a player on the opposing team, Dishno said. 

Goalie Alejandro Garcia Lara, 28, came to her aid. He grabbed the head of her attacker, who, in turn, bit off the tip of his pinkie, Dishno said. 

Police located the tip of Lara’s finger and brought it to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to reattach it. Doctors bandaged his wound and released him. 

No arrests have been made. Police are trying to narrow down the list of players to determine who bit the finger.