Florida Man Headlines

11 Florida Man Headlines From 2019 That We’re Still Trying To Understand

Published December 23, 2019
Updated April 14, 2020

Florida Man was bolder than ever this year, from DIY castration to a bagel breakfast with an alligator. Don't say you weren't warned about these outrageous Florida man headlines.

It’s rare that a term as succinct as “Florida Man” produces such an immediate reaction. Violence, drug and alcohol use, animal abuse, and sheer recklessness are all contained in the phrase. Yet another year has come to an end, and with it, a decade too. But wrapping up two of those milestones wouldn’t be complete without a look back at 11 of the most preposterous and confounding Florida man headlines we encountered in 2019.

From resisting arrest and force-feeding an alligator alcohol to homemade castrations and losing a screwdriver in ones rectum — you wouldn’t want to start 2020 without knowing how wild we as a species can get.

A Florida Man Headline We Thought We’d Never See: DIY Castration

Gary Van Ryswyk's Mugshot

Highlands County Sheriff’s OfficeA 74-year-old Sebring resident said he met a willing patient for castration on a dark web fetish site for eunuchs.

The dark web allows users to purchase pretty much anything with complete anonymity. That’s how Florida man Gary Van Ryswyk was able to find a man willing to be castrated by him.

After he met a man on “a website for those that have a fetish for castration,” the 74-year-old Sebring native unfortunately botched the attempt.

According to Newsweek, Van Ryswyk was charged with the second-degree felony of practicing medicine without a license that then resulted in bodily injury.

For Highlands County officers arriving at the scene, however, that neat little description didn’t do the scene they’d encountered justice.

After receiving a 911 hang-up call from a home on Order Road, officers met Van Ryswyk at the front door to a home. Van Ryswyk immediately admitted to police that he’d just castrated a 53-year-old man. Deputies subsequently found the patient on a nearby bed bleeding torrentially from his groin.

The unfortunate man’s testicles were sitting in a pink container nearby.

The bedroom had been transformed into a surgical center of sorts. Medical equipment, painkillers, as well as a camera had been set up. The 53-year-old had explicitly asked Van Ryswyk for his services.

“[Hang-up calls] are pretty routine and deputies respond to many of them per shift,” the sheriff’s office said. “But most of them don’t make the cut when it comes to being memorable. This one will definitely hang around in the memory for a while.”

Van Ryswyk explained he had past experience with castration, though mainly on animals. He also admitted that he’d removed one of his own testicles in 2012 and performed the procedure on a man in a motel “a few years ago.”

In both cases, the patient survived. Van Ryswyk was held in jail on a $250,000 bond.

Marco Margaritoff
A former staff writer for All That’s Interesting, Marco Margaritoff holds dual Bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a Master's in journalism from New York University. He has published work at People, VICE, Complex, and serves as a staff reporter at HuffPost.
Leah Silverman
A former associate editor for All That's Interesting, Leah Silverman holds a Master's in Fine Arts from Columbia University's Creative Writing Program and her work has appeared in Catapult, Town & Country, Women's Health, and Publishers Weekly.
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Margaritoff, Marco. "11 Florida Man Headlines From 2019 That We’re Still Trying To Understand." AllThatsInteresting.com, December 23, 2019, https://allthatsinteresting.com/florida-man-headlines-2019. Accessed May 19, 2024.