California man tries to fix hernia with butter knife

LOS ANGELES Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:24pm EDT

Related Topics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 63-year-old California man with a hernia plunged a butter knife into his abdomen in an attempt to fix the problem, and later put a lit cigarette in the wound, police said on Tuesday.

Police found the man lying naked on the porch of his apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale on Sunday night after his wife called to report his attempt at surgery, Glendale police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz said.

"He actually impaled himself with the butter knife," Lorenz said. "He told his wife he was frustrated with this hernia, and he didn't want to wait any longer for the medical procedure."

Police officers watched as the 63-year-old man, after pulling the knife out of his abdomen, put a lit cigarette into the wound, Lorenz said. "I don't know if it was an attempt to cauterize or anything," he said.

Police did not identify the man, but Lorenz said he committed no crime and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, police said.

The hospital was expected to perform the surgery to fix his hernia, Lorenz said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

FILED UNDER: