Bellingham, Wash., doctors unable to reattach arm

By the Associated Press | December 8, 2011 | 12:20 PM EST

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Bellingham police say doctors were unable to reattach the right arm of a man who severed his limb with a homemade guillotine in October at a transient camp.

At the time, officials did not say if attempts to reattach the arm were successful. Police disclosed the information Wednesday in response to a records request.

Police say the 32-year-old man was in stable condition after hospital treatment and was held for a mental evaluation.

Officers say he built a 16-foot-tall guillotine with scrap lumber and sharpened a 60-pound piece of metal. He apparently applied a tourniquet before dropping the blade.

The man went to a medical clinic for help but wouldn't say where his arm was because "it was better to lose that part than one's soul." Police found the arm.