By The Associated Press
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman was in custody Tuesday after authorities said she drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and put it through a garbage disposal.
Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said that Catherine Kieu Becker drugged a meal and served it to the victim, whose name was not released, shortly before the attack Monday night.
Nightengale said the 51-year-old man felt sick, went to lie down and lost consciousness. The 48-year-old Becker then tied the victim’s arms and legs to the bed with rope, removed his clothes and attacked him with a 10-inch kitchen knife as he awoke, Nightengale said.
“He was conscious when his penis was removed,” Nightengale said.
Nightengale said Becker put the penis in the garbage disposal and turned it on.
Becker called 911 and indicated to arriving officers that the victim was in the next room, Nightengale said. Paramedics found him tied to the bed, bleeding profusely.
Bail for Becker was set at $1 million after she was booked at the Orange County Jail for investigation of aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning and spousal abuse.
The victim underwent surgery and was in serious condition at the University of California at Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Nightengale said the man is expected to survive.
A call to a hospital spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Becker was taken into custody without incident, although she would not talk to officers, Nightengale said.
Becker is due in court Wednesday. A telephone listing for her residence could not be located and no one was home in the apartment.
Neighbor Lourdes Painter told The Associated Press the couple had been married since December, did not have any children and seemed very quiet. Becker and her husband lived in a second-story condo in the working class complex. Painter lives in the unit below them.
The couple was reportedly in the process of a divorce.
Nightengale said a database search showed no previous calls to the house for any past problems. He didn’t know what kind of food the couple ate for dinner.
No private attorney was listed on booking documents. If Becker seeks a public defender, one could be appointed at her first court appearance.
In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis in Virginia. She claimed years of sexual abuse drove her to the attack, and she was acquitted by reason of insanity.