Police in the Free State are on the hunt for a suspect with half a nose after it was bitten off by a security guard during a scuffle at a church in QwaQwa.
Spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring told News24 two suspects had attempted to burgle the place of worship in the early hours of Saturday morning when they were spotted by the security guard who was employed by the church following a spate of thefts of its microphones and sound equipment.
A scuffle broke out with one of the suspects, during which his accomplice fled.
"The security guard and the burglar wrestled and the guard bit off part of his nose, which fell to the ground," he said.
"The suspect also bit the guard's finger but didn't pierce his skin."
The bleeding suspect then fled the scene.
Mophiring said the police were in contact with local health facilities, hoping that the suspect would seek medical help for his injury, as was the case last week when an alleged rapist was nabbed at a hospital where he sought treatment for a bloodied mouth.
The suspect allegedly broke into a single mother's home in Makwane in the early hours of the morning and raped the woman as well as her two children aged 1 and 5, Mophiring said.
During the attack on the mother, he attempted to kiss her, and she bit his lower lip.
"He was in pain and bled profusely. He went to a local hospital for assistance an hour after the attack, and although he gave a false name and details, he was arrested on three counts of rape."
Suspected of being a serial rapist, the police were in the process of trying to link him to other cases, Mophiring confirmed.