SALISBURY, N.C. -- A Salisbury man was hospitalized Wednesday night after part of his ear was bitten off during a robbery.

Salisbury Police Captain Shelia Lingle says 24-year-old Demario Whisonant and 18-year-old Derrick Brown, both of Salisbury, were walking on Craige Street near Livingstone College, when a group of eight to 10 young men approached them.

Whisonant and Brown deliberately avoided the group, but the young men began to run towards them, catching up near the intersection of Caldwell and Thomas streets.

Brown was pushed to the ground, and robbed of $70 and his cell phone, officials say.

Lingle says Whisonant was punched in the face, and bitten on the ear, before the group of men made off with $140 in cash.

Whisonant was treated and released from the Rowan Regional Medical Center. Officials say a chunk of his ear was bitten off in the assault.

Authorities say the group of assailants were wearing blue and black bandanas.

If you have any information in this case, you're asked to contact the Salisbury Police Department (704) 638-5333, or Crime Stoppers (866) 639-5245.

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