Argument Over Champagne Prompts Phoenix Man to Beat Wife With Weed-Whacker and Try to Burn Down House

A Phoenix man, with a long history of domestic violence, was arrested Sunday after he allegedly beat his wife with a weed-whacker and tried to set his house on fire with Molotov cocktails -- all over some spilled champagne.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, 49-year-old Roy Rodriguez and his wife started arguing at their Phoenix home early Sunday morning. Rodriguez reportedly dumped out some champagne his wife was saving , and she wasn't happy about it.

As the two argued, Rodriguez allegedly grabbed a weed-whacker and started hitting the woman on the back as she sat in a chair in their backyard.

The couple's two daughters heard what was going on and ran outside to help their mother. They found Rodriguez standing over the woman, pushed him away, and helped her inside.

Then, one of the daughter's says, Rodriguez told them he planned on burning down the house with everyone inside. Apparently, he wasn't joking.

When police got to the scene, with the rest of the family inside, they found Rodriguez hunched over a few beer bottles. The bottles were full of gasoline and Rodriguez was putting wicks into the tops of them.

Police arrested him before he was able to light any of the fire bombs he'd just created.

Following his arrest, Rodriguez told police he told police he did hit his wife with the weed whacker, but only after she attacked him. He says he planned to use the Molotov cocktails to start a fire, but that he planned to set himself on fire -- not the house with his family inside.

Rodriguez has been charged with one count of misconduct involving a weapon, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of arson of an occupied structure.

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James King
Contact: James King