by Denise Civiletti
A man attempted to cut off his penis at a downtown Riverhead community service organization office Wednesday morning.
He told police he wanted a sex change, according to a police report.
Police said they responded to the Maryhaven community support office at 127 W. Main St. on a call for an ambulance at about 8:30 a.m. yesterday. They found the man inside, "standing up with a self-inflicted cut to his penis," according to the report. He had used a scissors in the attempt, police said.
The man, whose identity was withheld by police, was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, police said. He was described in the report only as a white male; no age or place of residence was given.
Workers at Griffing Hardware this afternoon said the man entered the store yesterday morning and asked for scissors. He purchased them, saying he didn't want a bag or a receipt, and left the store. Shortly thereafter they saw police and an ambulance across the street at Maryhaven. They didn't realize it had anything to do with the man who'd purchased the scissors until a Maryhaven employee ran into the store looking to buy a bucket and bleach to clean up.
Genital self-mutilation is a rare event commonly associated with psychotic disorders, according to a paper published on the National Institutes of Health website.
"However such injuries have also been reported from nonpsychotic patients as a result either from bizarre autoerotic acts, attempts at crude sex change operation by transsexuals or secondary to complex religious beliefs and delusions regarding sexual guilt," wrote the paper's authors.
Just last week, a well-known rapper, reportedly under the influence of PCP, severed his own penis with a steak knife. Then in an apparent suicide attempt, Andre Johnson, aka Christ Bearer, then jumped off a second-story balcony in West Hollywood, Calif.