Man who bit off part of RTD driver’s ear sentenced to prison

GOLDEN, Colo. — A man who bit off a part of an RTD bus driver’s ear during a vicious attack last year has been sentenced to prison.

Richard Mathis, 40, was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty last month to first- and second-degree assault, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, District Court Judge Diego Hunt called the assault a “savage” attack.

On Feb. 24, 2017, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies responded to Southwest Plaza on a report of an attack on an RTD driver.

The driver, Kolio Mintchev, had reached the end of his route and asked Mathis to get off the bus.

After Mathis got off, Mintchev checked the bus when Mathis got back on and attacked him, prosecutors said.

Mathis punched Mintchev in the face then stabbed him 10 times with a box cutter.

As Mintchev tried to wrestle away the box cutter, Mathis bit off a large portion of his ear, prosecutors said.

Mintchev got the box cutter from Mathis and was able to get off the bus, locking it until deputies arrived.

As deputies attempted to take Mathis into custody he kicked at them and was “aggressive and combative,” prosecutors said.

Mathis told detectives he was heavily under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the attack.

It was the fourth felony conviction for Mathis.

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