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Deputies: Man critically burned trying to set estranged wife ablaze
Tampa Bay Times ^ | February 7, 2012 | staff

Posted on 02/07/2012 9:21:51 AM PST by atomic conspiracy

No one knows how long he sat inside the green rental car and waited.

Authorities say Matthew Wong, 50, watched the door of his wife's apartment early Monday, waiting for her to step outside.

Thick, black garbage bags shrouded the backseat windows. A quilt covered the rear window.

"It appears it was all planned," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon. "He was waiting out there to ambush her."

What Wong hadn't planned on, deputies said, was getting caught in the flames that he had hoped would kill his wife, Gloria Davis, 47.

After residents of the Countrywood Apartments, 12401 Orange Grove Drive, helped extinguish the fire, Wong was taken to Tampa General Hospital just after 7 a.m. in critical condition, with third-degree burns over his upper body, McKinnon said.

The episode was still under investigation, and no charges had been filed Monday.

Davis was unharmed.

Wong's motives for attacking his wife were not immediately clear, McKinnon said.

The two have been separated since October, when Davis moved out of their Wesley Chapel home and into the Countrywood Apartments. Family members declined to comment.

Deputies would later discover a 21/2-gallon jug of gasoline in Wong's trunk, tape, a pair of gloves and bleach bottles believed to have been filled with an accelerant.

As Wong chased Davis across the apartment complex's front lawn, he pulled a Bic lighter from his pocket, officials said. Davis escaped by ducking into a neighbor's apartment, McKinnon said.

That's when Wong began setting bushes and grass on fire in an attempt to "smoke her out," McKinnon said.

In the process, Wong set himself on fire.

Amy Jo Akert, a 35-year-old dance teacher who lives across the street, said she woke up when she heard yelling and arguing. She didn't think much of it at first, since she lives near a school bus stop, but then, she said, she heard what sounded like a woman screaming "Help me! Help me!"

Akert said she looked across the street and saw a man standing on the ground and someone running upstairs. Someone screamed, "I'm going to kill you!" and suddenly, the man burst into flames.

"It was instantaneous," Akert said. "He just lit on fire. I don't even understand how."

Cristie Gibbons, 26, also called 911.

Gibbons, who lives on the ground floor of Davis' building, said she went to her bedroom

window when she heard screams coming from outside.

"The bushes were on fire. The mulch was on fire, the grass, everything," she said. "I thought my apartment was going to burn down."

She called 911 as her husband, Aurelio Loza, 44, ran outside with a blanket.

"I saw the flames, but, at first, I didn't see the man," he said. "Once I did, I just grabbed the blanket and ran."

Loza was met by a man from across the street. Together, the two snuffed out the flames that engulfed Wong as he rolled on the grass.

Wong and Davis were married in 1985, records show, and have two sons, ages 25 and 18.

Wong was arrested on charges of domestic battery in 2000, but the case was later dismissed, according to court records.

Pasco County deputies most recently responded to the couple's Cross Creek Lane home in November 2010, but no arrests were made.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: domestic; immolation; torch

1 posted on 02/07/2012 9:22:04 AM PST by atomic conspiracy
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To: atomic conspiracy

Im not sure what to say..


2 posted on 02/07/2012 9:24:26 AM PST by goseminoles
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To: atomic conspiracy

Wow. Karma is a harsh mistress.


3 posted on 02/07/2012 9:25:34 AM PST by Tigerized (Occupy Wall Street? Go find the real culprits in the Capitol Building...)
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To: goseminoles

Does sound like a happy ending, sort of. His poor wife will never a day of peace as long as he is at large.


4 posted on 02/07/2012 9:29:54 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

“When Idiots Attack”


5 posted on 02/07/2012 9:30:20 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: atomic conspiracy

Sometimes the bad guys lose.


6 posted on 02/07/2012 9:30:57 AM PST by Joe the Pimpernel (Too many lawmakers, too many laws, too many lawyers.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

“Ha ha.” - Nelson Munz.


7 posted on 02/07/2012 9:31:35 AM PST by wideawake
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To: atomic conspiracy
He forgot the first rule of setting up a successful ambush: Keep a cool head at all times...
8 posted on 02/07/2012 9:32:37 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

say what?


9 posted on 02/07/2012 9:34:01 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: wideawake

That’s Wong!


10 posted on 02/07/2012 9:36:37 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The acronym explains the science.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

“The bushes were on fire. The mulch was on fire, the grass, everything,”

FAIL


11 posted on 02/07/2012 9:43:17 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper (NEWT GINGRICH 2012)
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To: atomic conspiracy

Build a man a fire, and he is warm for a day.

Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life.


12 posted on 02/07/2012 9:45:27 AM PST by Mr. K (Were the Soviet-Era propogandists as gleefully willing as our Lame-stream Media?)
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To: atomic conspiracy

She needs to disappear, and the sooner the better. This guy may actually become even more dangerous now. In his messed up head he’s probably going to blame ~her~ for his injuries and disfiguring scars.


13 posted on 02/07/2012 9:45:44 AM PST by Ramius (Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: goseminoles
Im not sure what to say..

Well, he was certainly in the wong.

14 posted on 02/07/2012 9:46:10 AM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: atomic conspiracy

“I don’t want to set the world on fire.....I just want to start a flame in your heart....”


15 posted on 02/07/2012 9:47:13 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

‘twas hoist upon his own petard...


16 posted on 02/07/2012 9:48:59 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Build a man a fire and he stays warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he stays warm for the rest of his life.


17 posted on 02/07/2012 9:50:20 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Ramius

This sounds like the beginning of Alzheimers. It affects people in different ways. After that many years of marriage and grown children, I going with mental problems.


18 posted on 02/07/2012 9:53:30 AM PST by WVNan ("Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy." - Winston)
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To: UCANSEE2

Sick humor.. love it...


19 posted on 02/07/2012 9:53:41 AM PST by goseminoles
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To: UCANSEE2

That’s a good wong!


20 posted on 02/07/2012 10:00:07 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: atomic conspiracy

He’s lucky it wasn’t a Spare the Air day.


21 posted on 02/07/2012 10:01:58 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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To: atomic conspiracy

That’s just plain wong.


22 posted on 02/07/2012 10:02:36 AM PST by healy61
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To: atomic conspiracy

That’s just plain wong.


23 posted on 02/07/2012 10:02:44 AM PST by healy61
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To: Ramius

He’s going to probably be in the hospital for quite a while, and then at some point he may have to serve time in prison if he doesn’t die from his injuries.


24 posted on 02/07/2012 10:02:54 AM PST by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: murron

Yah, and that gives her something of a head start. But whatever time he gets in jail, it won’t be enough.

It’s too bad that attempted murder doesn’t typically warrant as much time as a successful murder. It should. Just because they failed... the intent and the action was the same. It should be treated as the same level of crime.


25 posted on 02/07/2012 10:12:07 AM PST by Ramius (Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: Ramius
It’s too bad that attempted murder doesn’t typically warrant as much time as a successful murder. It should. Just because they failed... the intent and the action was the same. It should be treated as the same level of crime.

I have always agreed with that.

26 posted on 02/07/2012 10:13:15 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

Burned beyond reignition.


27 posted on 02/07/2012 10:14:30 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: atomic conspiracy

No Matthew, you wong....me no love you long time.


28 posted on 02/07/2012 10:26:14 AM PST by Gator113 (~Just livin' life, my way~..... GO NEWT GO--itÂ’s about the survival of our country!!)
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To: atomic conspiracy

Sometimes things happen differently than why we plan especially if we deserve it.


29 posted on 02/07/2012 10:27:41 AM PST by chris_bdba
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To: atomic conspiracy

Sometimes things happen differently than what we plan especially if we deserve it.


30 posted on 02/07/2012 10:27:56 AM PST by chris_bdba
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To: atomic conspiracy

I guess saying that his plan “backfired” on him is giving the term a somewhat new meaning.

Sometimes karma doesn’t wait to come back at you.


31 posted on 02/07/2012 10:58:12 AM PST by Jack Burton007 (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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32 posted on 02/07/2012 11:10:10 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: atomic conspiracy
Instant Karma (gonna getcha!)
33 posted on 02/07/2012 11:20:06 AM PST by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
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To: atomic conspiracy

What a shock and burden this has placed on their two sons, age 25 and 17.


34 posted on 02/07/2012 11:40:40 AM PST by Islander2
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To: atomic conspiracy
You're doing it wong.
35 posted on 02/07/2012 11:58:04 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: paul51

If the husband recovers and gets out of jail, she’ll be looking over her shoulder the rest of her life.


36 posted on 02/07/2012 12:38:00 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: goseminoles
Im not sure what to say..

Oh, that's easy! You're doing it all Wong!

37 posted on 02/07/2012 3:06:39 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Limbaugh: Tim Tebow miracle: "He had atheists praying to God that he would lose.")
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