Posted on Thu, May. 18, 2006
By DANA DiFILIPPO
[email protected] 215-854-5934
WITH THEIR wedding anniversary less than two weeks away, Howard Randolph was thinking romance. He hoped to take his wife, Monica, out for an intimate dinner and maybe an oldies-but-goodies show to celebrate 11 years of matrimony.
But yesterday, his mind was more on divorce and jail for his wife after she almost became Philadelphia's own Lorena Bobbitt.
Monica Randolph didn't need a kitchen knife. She took matters into her own hands.
The Nicetown man said he had been sleeping peacefully in the couple's bed Tuesday night when his wife pounced on him without warning, grabbed his groin, dug her manicured fingernails in and flayed him, leaving his gore-slicked gonads dangling much lower than normal.
"She didn't use no weapon - this was just sheer brute strength and fingernails. She grabbed me by my [scrotum] and ripped it apart with her bare hands," Randolph said yesterday from his hospital bed at Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was in stable condition with stitched and bandaged genitals.
Randolph, 52, said the 10:30 p.m. attack jolted him agonizingly awake, but his consciousness didn't faze his single-minded wife, who, he said, continued to yank on his privates.
"She would not let go; I had to hit her to get her off me. My hand's all swollen from hitting her," he said, adding that the attack ended only after he fled the house, locked her in and limped to a corner pay phone to call police.
A neighbor who heard the commotion also called police, who took Monica Randolph into custody and charged her with aggravated assault and related offenses.
Talk about a strict violation of the penal code.
Howard Randolph said his wife tore "everything out of the sac and all the skin away."
Just the thought triggers most men to hunch over and wince, but Randolph said he felt "fine" yesterday thanks to the morphine that doctors administered.
Monica Randolph told arresting officers that she had attacked her husband because he was cheating on her. But her husband denied having any affairs. He remains mystified as to his wife's motive and demanded that she receive a stiff punishment.
He didn't see the attack coming. He said he went to bed about 8 p.m. and hadn't argued with his wife.
"She'll probably blame her mental illness," he said. "She's bipolar, and she doesn't take her meds."
But he says this is the third time she's physically assaulted him, and he's had enough. In 2003, she threw a metal chair at him while he was recovering from heart surgery, he said.
The couple met 13 years ago in Mount Airy, he said. They have no children together, although he has three grown children from a previous marriage.
"I used to think the good times outweighed the bad times, but something like this, you can't get over," he said. "I'm going to prosecute."
The attack was harrowing for Randolph, he said, even though he's witnessed the worst in people as a Vietnam vet.
"Most of us veterans just want some peace in our lives," he said, adding that he served a year in Vietnam as a Navy firefighter on an aircraft carrier and remains on disability with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He hopes for a speedy recovery. Doctors told him he should regain full use of his genitals but could contract an infection from germs on his wife's fingernails, he said.
"It was an act of cowardice. I could see if it was done to a rapist, but not a husband who was just trying to get some sleep," he said. "I'm just stunned. Of all people, why would a woman do this to her husband?"
News of the genital mangling aroused a mixture of horrified gasps and guilty giggles in the Randolphs' neighborhood, where few knew the couple who had moved into the brick rowhouse on Pulaski Avenue near Bouvier Street in April.
Meanwhile, neighbors were left to speculate on explanations for the attack.
"She got to be crazy," said Dionne Martin, 18, who basked in the spring sunshine on friend Rochelle Odd's porch steps.
Odd, 21, agreed: "That woman was crazy, but I'm on her side. I don't think no guy deserves to have his balls ripped off. But she's got to be deep in love - that's what would make a woman do this. If they was together all those years and he cheated on her, she wanted him to feel what she was feeling. There's a lesson to be learned here: Don't cheat on your woman."
Lorena Bobbitt, of Virginia, gained international notoriety in 1993 after she cut her husband's penis off, fled and chucked it out her car window.
She claimed that years of beatings, rapes and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, John, led to temporary insanity. She was acquitted but served five weeks in a mental institution. The couple divorced.
Authorities found John Wayne Bobbitt's dismembered member on the roadside, and doctors reattached it. He was acquitted of marital rape and went on to star in a pornographic movie.