We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

Soo Nam Kim couldn’t understand why doctors at St. Elizabeths Hospital pressed him about his home “in the sky.” A few months ago, police arrested Kim for allegedly smashing windows at the Islamic Center mosque on Massachusetts Avenue NW. But when the 52-year-old Korean immigrant, who speaks little English, appeared before a D.C. Superior Court hearing examiner, the court failed to provide him with an interpreter. So the case’s prosecutor offered his own translation to the bench, saying Kim answered that he lived “in the sky” when asked to state his address. That statement clinched it for the examiner, who ordered Kim to undergo a forensics exam at the mental hospital. A court interpreter later realized that Kim was trying to say he lived “in the universe,” an old Korean expression meaning that he’s homeless. Idiomatic confusion aside, doctors still found Kim incompetent and ordered him to stay at St. Elizabeths. —Annys Shin