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Posted on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

Police: Man mutilates own penis under the influence of 'magic' mushrooms

By John Counts

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A 41-year-old Columbus, Ohio man was found naked and bloody on the grounds of Ypsilanti Middle School last week after mutilating his genitals while reportedly high on hallucinogenic mushrooms, police said.

Deputies were called to the school, located at 105 N. Mansfield St. in Ypsilanti Township, around 1 a.m. June 18 for an alarm. Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said the man broke a window at the school, which set off the alarm.

The 41-year-old was near the school on his knees, naked, with blood all over his legs, Fox said.

“He mutilated his genitals with his bare hands,” Fox said. "He was doing a lot of yelling and screaming."

Police reported that a lot of what the man was saying wasn't coherent. Police subdued the man and took him to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

When the man was well enough to be interviewed, he told police he was in the Ypsilanti area visiting friends and had taken hallucinogenic — or "magic" — mushrooms. He didn't remember much after that, according to police.

“He doesn’t have much recollection about anything that happened,” Fox said.

An initial toxicology report has been performed, but it didn't turn anything up, Fox added. More extensive toxicology testing is being done.

The man does not have a history of mental illness, according to Fox.

Police will seek burglary charges against the man.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 4:45 a.m.

I'm feeling better now. You yanked the dumb remarks referring to the UM/OSU rivalry!

Dexter Man

Wed, Jun 26, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Guess those mushrooms were magic.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jun 26, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

I find this to be classic stuff. You print a story that by its headline alone will create a response from the public and then spend the rest of your time deleting responses. When there are more deleted responses than not you may need to re-visit your policies. The way it is now basically all you can say it "thoughts and prayers to the family" or you're censored. Is so afraid they'll offend someone? Then perhaps they should run the mutilated penis story in the first place. I don't even know why I bothered to write this, they won't put this up either. By the way, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

This certainly teaches us that drugs can be bad for you. We know drugs carry huge costs to society. Another lesson? Know your source.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

Amazing how many commentors have had "experience' with this kind of stuff! That's whats scary!


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Many of us still have good forty year memories. Last week, or why I just came into this room to get something, not so much.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

I would be most eager to see followup on his blood work and whether those mushrooms were laced with PCP or such. Chances are that will be protected information under HIPPA, but it would be excellent public information whether the mushrooms were adulterated or not. I don't know much about psychedelic drugs, but aren't you supposed to have a buddy when you do them? Was that this guy's biggest mistake?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

FYI, it is HIPAA, not HIPPA


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

I still think it was something PCP related. I have never heard of shrooms doing this to anyone. Ever.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Burglary charges?!


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

If this Sunday's printed paper has a article with picture of this disgusting event on the front page like the very disturbing herion shoot-up picture on the front page of this past Sunday's paper, I will cancel my home delivery subscription. This is too much, it is sensationalism.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Nothing magic about those mushrooms!


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 2 p.m.

I see an extremely affective public service announcement to keep kids away from drugs...


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Just a minor retooling of that old "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" PSA.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

effective, not affective. But yeah.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

It's true that it could be overly emotional. It's also possible that it will be an effective PSA.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

"Police will seek burglary charges against the man." That seems like totally piling on. What a waste of time and effort. The guy has suffered more than enough punishment, by his own hand.

Boo Radley

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

They probably have to file burglary charges in order to seek restitution for the cost of repairing the window. The school system shouldn't have to absorb the repair costs.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

No Photos?

John of Saline

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.


Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

Who says journalism is dead?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

Hallucinogenics are potentially dangerous drugs, especially if they are combined with other drugs. I remember, back in the day, when LSD was big. Some of the people who took acid trips never came back. Hallucinations became a permanent part of their lives. Marijuana is a mild hallucingen, which is part of the reason people sometimes become paranoid while using it. The risk of this increases with increased use and length of time used.

Jake C

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Apart from your first sentence, very little of what you just said is accurate.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

So you're trying to insinuate that if someone smokes cannabis for an extended time frame they're liable to do this? Is that what your'e saying??


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Too bad for that guy. Hope he gets some mental help.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

And some plastic surgery.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 10:44 a.m.

Slow week at the news desk?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Are you kidding me? In the middle of a rash of drug overdoses in the county, a guy does mushrooms (a drug many consider natural and sacred, although here possibly laced with other stuff), and freaks out ripping off his penis and scrotum and nearly dies, it's reported nationally and in the UK, and you think it's not newsworthy? Holy cow, what exactly are you hoping for when you click on This is NEWS!


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 8:39 a.m.

Honestly, I'm surprised that this didn't happen in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

No it didn't but it does say the guy is from Columbus.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

I'm not surprised it happened in Ypsi.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 8:22 a.m.

I think his actions are enough of a punishment... I


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:56 a.m.

"An initial toxicology report has been performed, but it didn't turn anything up, Fox added. More extensive toxicology testing is being done." There are some specific tests that have to be done to detect Psilocybin metabolites. REMEDi is one of them. I'm willing to bet it was datura(jimson weed/moonflower) and not mushrooms....that or the guy has never EVER taken any kind of psychotropic before and had a very bad "reaction" to it. Mushrooms shouldn't do that to you....EVER. Datura on the other hand....that'll make you do REALLY bad things that you won't remember.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

Are you really critiquing the relative efficacy and safety of hallucinogenic recreational drugs?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

Exactly. I don't think this guy knew exactly what he took - mushrooms don't have this result.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:16 a.m.

I don't know why I read this, I feel like I will be sick, just about to go to bed and any pleasant (romance novel type) dreams I might have had are now unlikely to take place. :( and I was so looking forward to some dream cardio.

Ben Petiprin

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

I had a pretty bad time on Mushrooms at one point. The cops had to grab me too that night, I'm glad I didn't do anything permanent. Good luck to this guy.

Crusader 53

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

Admitting to drug use on a public forum , possibly using your real name , that could be seen by a perspective employer using a simple Google search for Ben Petiprin. Really Benjamin ? Hopefully the drug use is a thing of the past.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

From what I've heard, this is an EXTREMELY conservative retelling of what happened. I am guessing does not want to make all of its readers vomit on their keyboards...


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

I believe I've heard the same, and I'd say that "EXTREMELY" is an EXTREME understatement. Maybe WCSD didn't release all the details...I saw tape of one of their Sgts being interviewed about it, and he was avoiding a detailed description of the damage, also, even when asked for specifics by the reporter. I'm not sure anyone would believe all the damage I was told this guy did to himself anyway.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

"He was doing a lot of yelling and screaming." Sounds legit.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

can't help but notice the lengthy delay in sheriff's acknowledgement of the incident. not the most transparent way to operate.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

Why is this newsworthy?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

I'll take REAL stories about the hazards of recreational drug use any day over apocryphal tales. Thank you for reporting this in detail!

Boo Radley

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Oh ... and I forgot to include naked and covered with blood ....

Boo Radley

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Why? .... An out of control man high on drugs, seriously injured, yelling and screaming, and having broken a window out of a middle school .... Really?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

Instead of scrolling past you clicked on it just like the rest of us did so you had just as much curiosity as the rest of us.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:20 a.m.

Should be on the "World's Dumbest"


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

Because Enquiring minds want to know !


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 1:33 a.m.

Because it is very unusual!

Momma G

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

Sick! With friends like he came to visit, he doesn't need enemies! Feel sorry for the police who had to deal with him, too.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

I think this is one of those TMI type of news reports.

John of Saline

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

Drugs are bad, mmmkay?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

South Park references are always helpful in any comic or tragic or ironic circumstance, mmmkay?


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Simplistic conclusions about single events are bad, mmmkay?


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

Wonder what his friends were doing while he was out of control? Crazy


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 6:20 a.m.

Probably the rest of the batch of shrooms...

Angry Moderate

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

This sounds like he took amanita muscaria, NOT psilocybin mushrooms, which are typically what people mean by "magic mushrooms."


Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 2:05 a.m.

Thanks for clarifying this. I certainly never heard any stories like this about psilocybin forty years ago.

Jack Gladney

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Sounds to me like he took some Orange Sunshine. What you need to do with this when you have a bad trip is just chill out, have a beer and put on some Allmand Brothers music.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

Or they could have been good old table mushrooms laced with PCP or something like that. This is scary stuff.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 7:01 a.m.

Oh wow I completely forgot about a. muscaria...mainly because those are NOT the kind of shrooms you should eat. I was thinking datura...but a. muscaria is supposed to be extra unpredictable with it's effects....much like datura is, so that sounds about right. I think you can legally acquire a. muscaria too, just order it off the intarwebz.

John of Saline

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

Not magic, but "possessed" mushrooms?

Ellis Sams

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

He might be a good spokesperson on public service announcements citing the dangers recreational drug use.

Brad Pritts

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

When I was in jr high school shop class, the teacher brought in an older student who had cut his hand severely in a bandsaw accident, and had the fellow show the stitches as a warning of the risks. I cannot imagine this poor fellow doing the same..............


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

Geez. I'm sure the writers weren't lining up to do the write-up on this story.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

This is so sad.


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Why? He did it to himself you shouldn't feel sorry for him


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Oh my, that is unthinkable

Jonathan Blutarsky

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Can't wait to read the comments that are sure to follow...


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

Haha I thought the same soon as I finished cringing at what I read. Man!