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Bite mark connects suspect to Burger King stabbing, police say

A Burger King drive-thru customer who was planning to sink his teeth into a Whopper ended up taking a bite out of a panhandler who stabbed him and stole his wallet and cellphone, police say.
A Burger King drive-thru customer who was planning to sink his teeth into a Whopper ended up taking a bite out of a panhandler who stabbed him and stole his wallet and cellphone, police say.
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TAYLORSVILLE — A Burger King drive-thru customer who was planning to sink his teeth into a Whopper ended up taking a bite out of a panhandler who stabbed him and stole his wallet and cellphone, police say.

The bite mark helped officers identify and arrest a man who they say pulled a knife on the customer who had just ordered at Burger King, 3975 W. 4700 South, authorities said.

"This was key in tracking down the suspect," said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.

Antonio Moreno, 22, was arrested Thursday for investigation of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.

The violence began about midnight Wednesday after the driver declined to give the panhandler any change, but said he would buy him some food, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

"When the victim refused, the suspect stabbed him in the head," Lohrke said. After fighting back from the driver's seat, including with his teeth, "the victim stumbled up to the drive-thru, where employees called 911."

Lohrke said the stab wounds were serious but not life-threatening. Crews took the man, whose name has not been released, to Intermountain Medical Center.

He told officers the person who stabbed him looked like a homeless man who was staying in his apartment complex. The suspect was gone by the time police arrived at the fast-food restaurant parking lot.

So officers went to the West Valley apartment complex and found Moreno by the washers and dryers. He had a "large amount of blood on his clothing as well as a bite mark on his right arm," according to the report, and he matched a description given by the victim.

The man denied being at the Burger King, saying he had been asleep. He first told officers his girlfriend bit him but then said he was injured while at work, adding "the other guy is dead" but declining to elaborate, the report states.

Employees at the Burger King told detectives the panhandler earlier had asked employees for food, and came back with $5, which he used to buy a meal.

The stolen phone and wallet had not been recovered as of Thursday evening.

Contributing: Marc Giauque