Tampa man sent to hospital after botched castration, plus other 'News of the Weird'

What you missed while worrying about Dorian.


A Sebring, Florida, resident Gary Van Ryswyk, 74, has been charged with practicing medicine without a license following a bizarre incident at his home. According to the arrest report, Highlands County Sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 hang-up call on Aug. 18 were told by Van Ryswyk he had just removed the testicles of a man he'd met on a "website for those who have a fetish for castration." Officers found a 53-year-old man from the Tampa area lying on a bed, holding a towel to his groin, with said body parts in a jar nearby, BuzzFeed reported. The victim was flown to Tampa for medical treatment. Police also found a surgery room set up in the house with medical equipment and a camera to record the procedures. Investigators said Van Ryswyk told them he had bought painkillers from England and admitted to performing the surgery on at least one other man and on bulls and other animals while living on a farm growing up. He also said he removed one of his own testicles in 2012. But his most recent procedure went wrong when the "patient" bled profusely, making it difficult for Van Ryswyk to suture the wounds. For now, he's facing second-degree felony charges and a $250,000 bond.


In Hudson, Florida, Pasco County deputies arrested 46-year-old Keith Mounts on a felony aggravated assault charge after he allegedly threatened an unnamed man with a machete. A sheriff's office spokesperson said the two men were at the victim's home on Aug. 24 when Mounts used the bathroom and "didn't flush, and when the victim called him on it, the suspect threatened" to "chop" him, according to Newsweek. The arrest report said officers found the machete in the yard, and Mounts told them he was using it to defend himself, but he couldn't say from what. He did provide a written statement saying simply, "S**t happened." Touche!


Jacob Pina, 20, of Westport, Massachusetts, can't explain his physical oddity, but that's not stopping him from firmly grasping his 15 minutes of fame. Pina, recently dubbed "Thumb Boy," unveiled his unusually long (5 inches) right thumb on the TikTok app on Aug. 24, reported Metro News. "There's no reason it's so big just an anomaly," Pina posted. "I feel great about it. It's always great to be different and embrace your own essence." Pina has gained 145,000 followers on the app — and he's never lost a thumb war.


Firefighters near Estacada, Oregon, rescued a woman on Aug. 20 who had been trapped in a septic tank on her rural property, possibly for two or three days. The unidentified woman, who lives alone, couldn't alert neighbors of her predicament because they live out of shouting range. Her daughter found her after becoming concerned when she was unable to reach her mother for four days. Firefighters told KATU that work appeared to be being done on the tank — a hole had been dug exposing the tank, which had a rusted 2-by-2-foot hole in its lid. The woman had apparently fallen through the hole and was lying in sewage, with her face just above the surface, when rescuers got to her. They did not see any visible injuries on her, but she was transported to a hospital in Portland.


A Pennsylvania state appellate court has ruled against Stephen Kirchner, who was convicted in a lower court for disorderly conduct in 2018 for pointing his finger like a gun at a neighbor. In June of that year, KDKA reported, Kirchner was walking past a neighbor's home in Manor, Pennsylvania, when the neighbor made an obscene gesture with his hand. Kirchner responded by making a shooting gun gesture with his own hand. A witness called 911, and the unnamed neighbor told police he felt "extremely threatened." Kirchner argued that his gesture was not a hazard, but the appeals court disagreed.


If you've experienced one (or more) flat tires in Sherburne County, Minnesota, over the last few weeks, News of the Weird is now able to tell you why. Jeffrey Scot Caouette, 63, of Elk River admitted to authorities in late August that he had purchased 55 pounds of sheetrock screws (that's more than 12,000 screws) and scattered them on local roads to "slow down" a person he believed was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Specifically, KSTP reported, he put the screws on the road where he believed the man lived and on the roads between that house and the ex-girlfriend's house, among others. The arrest complaint notes that Big Lake police have received more than 100 reports of damage from the screws, including to three of their own vehicles. Caouette was charged with first-degree property damage.

Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to [email protected].


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