Yaqub Bham is recovering from a number of injuries at an area hospital and his family says there's no reason he should have been attacked in the first place.
Outside the emergency room Thursday night, Bham's wife is reeling after her husband was viciously attacked while out on a sales call.
"He was attacked by a human being -- it wasn't a human being, in any way, because humans don't behave in such a manner, and he's obviously in extreme, extreme trauma and extreme pain," Bham's wife said.
On Wednesday, Bham, a security system salesman, was meeting the homeowner in this upscale Tomball subdivision for an appointment. Investigators say soon after he arrived, David Nienberg began asking questions and then jumped on Bham.
"He kept asking about his name, and where are you from so he just became very aggressive," Bham's wife said.
In court Thursday, prosecutors said Nienberg's own son called 9-1-1. It took several deputies and a Taser gun to stop Nienberg from choking Bham.
"When they were finally able to get the defendant separated from the complainant and off the complainant, they discovered that the complainant had actually had his ear was bitten off by the defendant," said Donna Hawkins with the Harris County Assistant District Attorney said. "The defendant is charged with aggravated assault involving serious bodily injury."
Besides a severed ear, Bham has 10 broken ribs and a hurt shoulder. His wife believes Bham's ethnicity was a factor in the attack, and therefore, this is a hate crime.
"A hate crime because the way his ear has been bitten away, and while he's screaming in pain, his tongue has been bitten and cut in three different places," she said.
It will be up to the judicial system to eventually decide whether the attack on Bham will be elevated to a hate crime. For now, family members say they just can't believe anyone would attack a man simply doing his job.
"Very very nice person, kind hearted, very hard working guy, very conscientious, very loving person," Bham's friend, Pasha Koreshi said.
Nienberg is charged with a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years behind bars. If at some point in the judicial process they decide that it could be proven that this incident was a hate crime, Nienberg could spend up to the rest of his life behind bars.