Neighborly Disputes End in Failed Firebombing

A Phoenix man has two problems: his neighbor, and throwing like a girl.

According to court records obtained by New Times, 51-year-old Bruce Mueller had a dispute with his neighbor at an apartment complex at 1625 East Glendale Avenue in Phoenix. He responded by trying to set burn the neighbor's house down.

About 11 p.m. Friday, Mueller broke the glass door of the neighbor's house. He then poured gasoline and motor oil on the porch that, if on fire, would block the door for anyone looking to flee the building if it were on fire.

Then Mueller filled a glass bottle with gasoline, lit it on fire, and threw it at the victim's house.

Meanwhile, the victim was on the verge of falling asleep when he heard the glass door break. He got out of bed and watched as Mueller threw the flaming bottle at his gasoline-soaked porch.

But Mueller's throw was short, and the only thing he managed to set on fire was the victim's lawn and a few window screens that had been removed for painting.

Mueller ran from the scene but was caught by police a short time later.

After the cops showed up, the victim told officers he and Mueller have had several disputes in the past, usually caused by Mueller's irrational behavior.

Once in custody, Mueller told police he tried to set his neighbor's house on fire "to scare him."

Mueller's been charged with one count of arson, one count of criminal damage, one count of endangerment, and one count of misconduct involving a weapon.


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