Police: Man severs arm with homemade guillotine


BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Police said a man who walked into a medical clinic with his right arm severed indicated he cut his own limb off with a homemade guillotine.

As medical staff called for an ambulance, police officers checked a wooded area near the urology clinic Thursday, and found the severed arm and the guillotine in a transient camp.

The victim and the arm were taken first to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham.

More details from

Police spokesman Mark Young says the man was later airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in hopes the limb could be reattached.

Young tells The Bellingham Herald newspaper the arm was severed above the elbow.

The victim was not identified and his condition was not immediately known.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that police officers armed with a chainsaw went to dismantle the guillotine. Mark Young, the police department's public information officer, said the apparatus was constructed out of 2 x 6 x at least 12-foot tall timbers. The materials and a makeshift blade were apparently found by scavenging the local area.

"A lot of thought and a lot of work and lot of preparation went into making this device," Young told the paper.