TAMPA — The first time Jacqueline Wimbush got into a fight and lost a fingertip, doctors managed to save it.
Not this time.
Wimbush, who has a history of brawling, lost the tip of her left ring finger to another woman at a busy East Tampa meat market Monday, Tampa police say. "Right now it's gone, and there's nothing I can do," she fumed Wednesday.
The separation began Monday before noon when she entered the Aliana Meat Market and took a number, awaiting a butcher's attention.
It was No. 53.
The market, sandwiched between the Hope gas station and an African-themed bazaar, has an outside mural of a cornucopia filled with pigs, hens and cattle. It empties onto the earth like Noah's ark in reverse. The store sells oxtails, beef hearts, cow heads, salted pig tails, hog jaw and burnt cow skin.
Wimbush, No. 53, usually came to the market on Sundays but wanted pork chops. She planned to cook them along with chicken wings, black beans, yellow rice and Cuban bread for her children.
She was on her cell phone when a woman she didn't know entered the store and took the next number, No. 54.
Her name was Pamela Bumpers, police say.
But soon, a person holding No. 51 gave up and left Bumpers the ticket.
A butcher saw this and skipped to Wimbush's No. 53.
That seemed to upset No. 54 — Bumpers.