ESTES PARK, Co - In what paramedics called a freak accident', tourist Ben Miller lost his penis in a bear trap at an Estes Park souvenir shop. Miller, a 39 year old draftsman from Orlando, Florida, and his family were visiting the Big Thompson River Gift Shop Thursday afternoon when the mishap occurred.
Martha Miller, wife of Ben Miller, told reporters that Ben was using the restroom at the time of the accident. The entire shop, including the restrooms, is littered with authentic items of the Old West. Rifles, washtubs, animal skins and even bear traps are hanging on every wall.
Shop owner, Ted Larson, explained, "I hung that old bear trap next to the urinal in the men's restroom. It was kind of a joke. Lord, that thing is at least a hundred years old and the hinges are rusted solid." Larson said that he was convinced that the trap wouldn't close. "I sprayed it with WD-40 and stomped on the release, and it still wouldn't close!" said Larson.
Paramedics were unclear as to how Miller's penis actually got close enough to the bear trap or what triggered it. "The trap was attached to the wall approximately 18 inches from the urinal, so it seems unlikely that anyone could accidentally injure themselves while urinating," stated Jared Taylor of Estes Park EMS. "We arrived within minutes of the accident. As with any dismemberment, we attempted to recover the severed member so that it can hopefully be reattached. Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Miller's penis fell through a hole in the floorboards."
One of the paramedics spent almost an hour crawling around under the old building with a flashlight, but could not locate Miller's member. Police and paramedics speculate that the severed penis was eaten or carried off by an animal.
Miller was taken by ambulance to Whitewater Medical Center where he spent over 2 hours in surgery. Although he is expected to recover, doctors could do little in the way of reconstruction. Doctors suggested that Miller and his wife seek a qualified counselor to help them through this traumatic period upon returning to Orlando.
"It's too early to tell," was the response given by Martha Miller when asked if she intended to sue.
Ted Larson, bearing flowers, visited the Miller's at the hospital and offered his sympathies. "It's a tragedy," Ted told reporters. "But what I can't figure out is how he got his thing way over there in the trap. And what's more, I can't figure out how he got the blamed thing to snap shut. I just know they're going to sue me and take everything I've got. People always got to be poking things where they don't belong."
Larson offered the bear trap to the Millers to keep as a souvenir. They declined.