Man gouges out relative's eyes with bare hands, police say

A Minnesota man gouged out a relative’s eyes with his bare hands, officials said.

Rochester police said they found Mahad Aziz, 18, straddling the 74-year-old victim “in pool (of) blood,” the city’s FOX 47 reported.

Both of the victim’s eyes were completely gouged out of their sockets and most of his teeth were knocked out, police said.

Police said the eyes were “nowhere to be found,” adding that the victim’s eyes might have been “absorbed into the man’s body,” Rochester’s KIMT-TV reported.

“You lose your eyes … there’s no replacement,” Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin told FOX 47. “Obviously this is an injury that is going to change this man’s life.”

“You lose your eyes … there’s no replacement. ... Obviously this is an injury that is going to change this man’s life.”

— John Sherwin, Rochester Police Captain

The motive for the assault was not immediately known.

Neighbors of the apartment complex where the attack happened said the suspect and victim are “closely related,” KIMT-TV reported, but their exact relationship was not immediately clear.

William Barnaba, who knows the victim, told the station that he thinks a cultural stigma surrounding mental illness could be to blame.

"A lot of mental illness, some people they don't talk," Barnaba said, "and you don't know exactly what is wrong with them, so I cannot blame the family that they never noticed that their child is sick."

Barnaba, who said he gets coffee with the victim every day, referenced their Somalian culture.

"In Africa, we don't really put it in consideration that mental illness is a problem," Barnaba said, "but after we came to the United States, we know it's a problem."

Rochester is about 90 miles south of Minneapolis.