Brit Poker Player Kalem Lodge Earns Five-Year Sentence for “Chucky” Biting Assault
Then there are those players who you definitely don’t want to invite to your private home game, though it likely won’t be a concern for anyone for the better part of five years. 30-year-old Kalem Lodge received that prison term after being found guilt of biting off a chunk of another player’s ear in a street fight soon after the two had gotten into a fight during a bar-poker game.
The incident occurred in September of 2018 in Hartlepool, a town on northern England’s North Sea shore. A drunken Lodge encountered his victim, John Archer, and a friend of Archer’s some time after the initial skirmish, according to local reports. Lodge kicked and tripped Archer’s friend, then turned his attack onto Lodge. The well-imbibed tackled Lodge, and as the two rolled on the ground, Lodge reportedly yelled, “I’m Chucky! I’m Chucky!” before sinking his teeth into Archer’s ear, tearing off a sizeable chunk.
Despite the piece of Archer’s ear being located and put on ice, surgeons were unable to reattach it, leaving Archer cosmetically disfigured. Meanwhile, police were quickly called to put Lodge on a different sort of ice, ending both the attacks and his brief thespian career. (The “Chucky” references, were, of course, made to the long-running horror film series starring that character; Mike Tyson references are apparently no longer in vogue with the bar-poker set.)
Archer himself wrote two letters to the English court pleading for leniency for Lodge, who repeatedly expressed his remorse. Lodge, though, did himself no favors when he engaged in a second violent would-be attack this past September, showing up at another Hartlepool dwelling with a 30-inch machete, only to be met by a would-be victim brandishing what turned out to be an air pistol. That came less than a month after Lodge pled guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in the ear-biting attack.
Lodge reconsidered his odds and set down the machete. When arrested for that incident, he reportedly said he went to he location because “funds saved for a deceased friend’s family had been spent on drugs.”
The extent to which problems with alcohol or other drugs have figured into Lodge’s attacks hasn’t been made public, but it seems to have been a significant — if not overriding — element.
It’s unusual for such a non-lethal poker-related fight to result in a prison sentence so severe, another indicator that Lodge had a long track record. As it turned out, Lodge had 26 previous offences. The laundry list including assaults, affray, burglary, theft, racially aggravated harassment, and even “possessing a firework at a sports ground”. Sounds like an all-around wonderful bloke.
Oddly enough, it’s not the first time a poker fight turning into an ear-biting battle also resulted in a prison term. That happened in late 2015, also in England, when 27-year-old Nicholas Salisbury, of Ipswich, earned himself a three-year jail residency for that ear-biting attack.