SMDH! A Florida man who tried to set his estranged wife ablaze wound up getting burned. Badly.
Matthew Wong’s failed attempt to torch his spouse began when he ambushed Gloria Davis on Monday as she emerged from her apartment complex in suburban Tampa — and tried to douse her with gasoline, investigators said.
“Help me! Help me!” Davis screamed and took off running, witnesses told police.
With Wong in hot pursuit, the 47-year-old woman ducked into a neighbor’s apartment and left her husband outside fuming.
“I’m gonna kill you,” Wong screamed as he fished a lighter out, witnesses said. But everything went horribly wrong for 50-year-old Wong when he tried to smoke Davis out by setting the bushes in front of the building on fire, police said.
Apparently unaware that he’d sloshed some gas on his clothes, Wong went up like a torch the second he clicked his Bic. “It was like instantly,” neighbor Amy Jo Akert told local media. “Literally, he was instantly engulfed in flames.”
Davis’ rescuers were able to douse the flames engulfing Wong as he thrashed in agony on the lawn. He was rushed to Tampa General Hospital and being treated for severe burns over much of his body.
It was only after Wong was taken away that police found his green rental car and discovered in the trunk a 2 1/2 gallon jug of gasoline, bleach bottles filled with an accelerant of some kind, tape and a pair of gloves.
Wong “was waiting for her to actually come out for work and ambush her with a Clorox bottle full of gasoline,” said Larry McKinnon, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “It appears he was either going to light her on fire here or he was going to try to abduct her.”
Wong and Davis have been married since 1985 and have two grown sons. It’s not clear why Wong went after his wife, who moved out of the family home in Wesley Chapel, Fla., two years ago. Wong was charged with domestic battery in 2000, but the case was dismissed.