Search underway for suspects in finger-biting attack in Cherry Hill Mall parking lot

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - March 10, 2014

It was 4:40 p.m. Saturday when police responded to the Nordstrom's parking lot by Aisle 18 for a report of a parking dispute between two motorists.

"As soon as I got out of the car she started calling me all types of B-words," said Tonya Knight-Joseph, victim.

Knight-Joseph says she circled the parking lot near Nordstrom's while her friend waited for her at Bahama Breeze. She saw a car pull in and out of a parking space then leave.

Knight-Joseph pulled her car into the space and that's when she says two women approached her accusing her of taking their parking spot.

"She got this close to my face, her nose touched my nose. She was yelling and screaming then she hit me in the face," she said.

Knight-Joseph was scratched in the face and she put up her hands in defense. That's when she was bitten by one of the females and a portion of her finger was nearly severed.

"All of a sudden, I must have been pushing the initial attacker away and she bit down on my finger and proceeded to chomp. By the time I looked at it, it was hanging off by a little piece of skin," said Knight-Joseph.

Knight-Joseph was taken to Cooper University Hospital and was released Monday afternoon.

"This is an aggravated assault. There is a female here who was planning on going out to dinner with a friend, the next thing she's hospitalized for a couple days with the possibility of having part of her finger amputated," said Lt. Amy Winters, Cherry Hill Police.

Shortly after her release, she went to the Cherry Hill police station to be interviewed.

Police released images of both women, who they say fled into Nordstrom's following the attack.

The suspect who the victim says bit her is described as a black female in her mid-thirties, with a heavy set build and "bushy" hair.

The second woman is described as a skinny black female, who was wearing a light colored shirt, a dark jacket, and sunglasses.

The women may have been operating a dark colored, older model Audi sedan. There were possibly two teenagers who were also inside the vehicle.

Meanwhile Knight-Joseph, who works in customer service, says part of her finger still may need to be amputated.

"We should know within a week or so if the finger will be able to be saved, otherwise they are going to have to amputate," she said.

Doctors have told her she is likely to be out of work for up to three months, with a full recovery taking even longer.

Anyone with information about the incident or the suspects is asked to call the Cherry Hill Police Department at (856) 488-7828.

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