GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — A Southern California woman remained jailed Wednesday 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 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.
The lieutenant said Becker called 911 to report a medical emergency and told arriving officers “he deserved it” before pointing to the room where the victim was found tied to the bed, bleeding profusely. Authorities did not release details on a possible motive in the attack.
A telephone listing for Becker’s residence could not be located and no one was home in the apartment.
Nightengale said Becker was taken into custody without incident and refused to talk to officers further. Nightengale said Wednesday the couple was married in December 2009 and that the victim filed for divorce six months ago.
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.
She was due in court Wednesday.
The victim underwent surgery and was listed in good condition at the University of California at Irvine Medical Center in Orange, hospital spokesman John Murray told the Orange County Register.
The newspaper said the victim declined to comment when he was reached by phone Tuesday afternoon.
“This is a private matter,” he said.
Neighbor Lourdes Painter told The Associated Press the couple 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 condo belonged to the victim but Becker was living there and slowly moving her things out, Nightengale said.
Nightengale said a database search showed no previous calls to the home for any past problems. He didn’t know what kind of food the couple ate for dinner. Detectives took the food as evidence and were analyzing it.
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 and threw it out of her car window into a field on the side of the road. She claimed years of sexual abuse drove her to the attack, and she was acquitted by reason of insanity. His penis was later reattached.