A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly performing a botched castration surgery on another man he'd met online through a fetish website for eunuchs, authorities said Tuesday.
Gary Van Ryswyk, 74, has been charged with the second-degree felony of practicing medicine without a license resulting in bodily injury, according to the Highlands County Sheriff's Office.
According to an arrest report provided to BuzzFeed News, sheriff's deputies arrived at Van Ryswyk's house in Central Florida just before midnight on Sunday while responding to a 911 hang-up call.
"These are pretty routine and deputies respond to many of them per shift," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post. "But most of them don’t make the cut when it comes to being memorable."
According to the arrest report, Van Ryswyk told the deputies he had just removed the testicles of a man he'd met on "a website for those that have a fetish for castration."
In Van Ryswyk's guest bedroom, deputies found the 53-year-old man from the Tampa area holding a bloody towel on his groin. His testicles were in a jar by the side of the bed.
Another section of the house was set up as a "makeshift surgical room," complete with medical equipment and a camera to record the procedure.
The victim was flown to a Tampa hospital for "life-saving measures," and is currently in stable condition. Scott Dressel, the public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, told BuzzFeed News he believed the man's testicles were taken to the hospital with him, but he was not aware if they had been reattached. "I don't know if he would even want that," Dressel said.
Investigators said Van Ryswyk told them that he and the man had met one week earlier and tried to perform the procedure, but that the man had become aroused and ejaculated while Van Ryswyk tried to sanitize his penis, meaning the surgery had to be delayed.
Van Ryswyk was said to have told the man he'd performed castrations on bulls and other animals while living on a farm in his youth. He was also said to have removed one of his own testicles in 2012.
Using painkillers he'd purchased online from England, as well as forceps and scalpels he'd acquired, Van Ryswyk said he began the procedure on Sunday around 10 p.m. local time. But the victim's uncontrollable bleeding made it difficult for him to use clear suture material, or stitches, to try to close the wound.
Van Ryswyk allegedly confessed to performing a similar operation — with a similarly disastrous result — several years ago in a motel, but he could not recall the man's name.
Van Ryswyk was arrested Monday and is now being held in jail on a $250,000 bond. An attorney could not immediately be located.
Dressel, the public information officer, told BuzzFeed News he could not recall a similar case in the area.
"Everyone that I talked to that was on the scene has said it was something they will never forget," he said.