By JOHN MONE
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - A Southern California woman remained jailed today after authorities said she drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and put it through a garbage disposal.
Suspect Catherine Kieu Becker spiked a meal and served it to the victim shortly before the attack Monday night, Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said.
The 51-year-old man felt sick, went to lie down and lost consciousness.
Becker, 48, then tied his arms and legs to the bed with rope, removed his clothes and attacked him with a 10-inch kitchen knife as he awoke, police said.
"He was conscious when his penis was removed," Nightengale said, alleging Becker then put it in the garbage disposal and turned it on.
The victim's name was not released by police.
The lieutenant said Becker called police to report a medical emergency and told arriving officers "he deserved it" before pointing to the room where the victim was found bleeding profusely.
Authorities did not release details on a possible motive. A database search showed no previous calls to the home for any past problems, Nightengale said.
The couple was married in December 2009, and the victim filed for divorce in May citing irreconcilable differences, court records show.
Becker was taken into custody without incident and refused to talk to officers further. Bail was set at $1 million after she was booked at 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.
A court hearing was expected today.
No attorney for Becker was listed on booking documents. A telephone listing for her residence could not be located, and no one was home at the apartment.
The victim underwent surgery and was listed in good condition at University of California at Irvine Medical Center, hospital spokesman John Murray told the Orange County Register.
The victim declined to comment when he was reached by phone Tuesday by the newspaper.
"This is a private matter," he said.
Police officers reported the victim was in "amazingly good spirits considering everything he has gone through," Nightengale said.
A call by The Associated Press to a phone number listed on court documents for the victim was answered Wednesday by a person who promptly hung up.
Neighbor Lourdes Painter said the couple did not have any children and seemed 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.
Detectives were analyzing the food served for dinner.
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.
The penis was later reattached.
Associated Press writer Amy Taxin contributed to this report from Orange County.