AFP - July 21, 2006 - 10:04AM
A man who cut off his own penis in a drunken bet had it stitched back on by Latvian doctors, the first such operation in the country's history.
While heavily under the influence of alcohol, the 30-year-old made a bet with his friend for 1000 lats ($2360) that he would cut off his penis, according to a Latvian public television report.
He was brought to hospital bleeding severely yesterday.
"We have had a few cases with penis traumas, when it was half-cut or damaged, but this is the first time that it was totally cut off - and brought to hospital in a plastic bag," said microsurgeon Aivars Tihonovs from Gailezers hospital in the Latvian capital, Riga.
The operation lasted three and a half hours as doctors had to sew six nerves back together, according to media reports. "The first operation of this kind in the world was carried out in 1977, and it is still very rare," Tihonovs said, adding that such surgery was sometimes needed after bomb explosions.
The surgeon said that he was proud of his work but also "really angry that he (the patient) did it to himself".
Doctors said that it would take four or five days to assess if the operation was successful. It would take about half a year to be sure that the man's penis was functioning properly.
'I'm an idiot,' says suspect in 90 mph chase
Patrick Flanigan and Greg Livadas
Staff writers Democrat and Chronicle
(July 21, 2006) — A Greece man who led police on a chase Thursday that reached 90 mph — briefly going the wrong way on Route 590 in Irondequoit — expressed remorse at his arraignment hours later.
"I'm stupid. I'm an idiot," said William Mellema, 41, handcuffed in Irondequoit Town Court.
"There's no argument from anybody here," said Irondequoit Town Justice Joseph Genier.
Mellema, who said he's living with his parents on Almay Lane, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal contempt, aggravated unlicensed operation and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property as well traffic violations.
Genier ordered Mellema held on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond pending a yet-to-be scheduled preliminary hearing.
State Police Investigator Tracy Cass said Trooper Scott Stenclik attempted to stop a car with an expired inspection sticker on 590 near Browncroft Boulevard around noon; the driver continued, speeding north toward Sea Breeze.
The State Police Department's pursuit policy enables troopers to chase any driver who fails to the signal to pull over. Chases are monitored by supervisors, who can end the chase if conditions become too dangerous.
Once in Sea Breeze, the vehicle reversed course and headed south in the southbound lane, but then crossed to the northbound lane. The driver stopped the car on Sunrise Crescent, just south of Titus Avenue, and fled on foot into the woods. He was caught by Irondequoit police.
Wearing a T-shirt, shorts and socks with his handcuffs, Mellema appeared in court with his left leg bandaged following an unexplained hospital visit after his arrest.
Although he wasn't asked, Mellema explained his actions to Genier. Mellema said he was driving a 1993 Saturn from Lakeville in Livingston County to get it inspected when a trooper tried to pull him over, presumably for the uninspected vehicle.
"I got scared and I ran," he said.
Mellema said he only veered into the oncoming lane after police attempted to stop his car with a spike strip that would have deflated his tires.
Troopers said Mellema's estranged wife, Lucille, was a passenger in the car. The contempt charge alleges that Mellema ignored her pleas to pull over for the police. Mellema has an order of protection from Livingston County that prohibits him from endangering his estranged wife's safety, Cass said.
The stolen property charge stemmed from license plates that had been reported stolen in Rochester on Wednesday.
"I got the plates from a friend," Mellema told the judge. "I paid for them, too."
Mellema, who apologized to Genier for his actions, said he suffered from epilepsy, which might explain his behavior.
"I apologized 100 times for making them run," he said. "I don't know what makes me do stupid things. I'm just glad I didn't hurt anybody. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did."