Drunk Phoenix Woman Sets House on Fire After Husband Bans Her From Drinking at Home

Linda Velarde, 48, is what some might call a "bad drunk." In fact, she gets so violent when she drinks that her husband banned her from tying one on in the Phoenix home the couple shares -- so she set the house on fire with him inside.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, police were called yesterday afternoon when Velarde was seen drinking in public and waving a knife in the air near her apartment complex at 806 East Carol Avenue in Phoenix.

When police arrived, she told them her husband no longer allowed her to drink in their apartment, which the husband confirmed to officers, citing the fact that she tends to get violent when she drinks as the reason.

After her initial run in with police, cops monitored as Velarde went back to her apartment to grab some of her things. She then left on foot.

Shortly after removing some of her belongings, police were again called about Velarde. This time it was because she set her apartment on fire with her husband inside.

For the second time in just a few hours, police again were speaking to Velarde's husband, who told them Velarde had returned to the apartment, so he locked himself in a room to get away from his drunken wife. As he was locked in the room, Velarde allegedly dumped some sort of oil on the floor leading from the room in which her husband was locked to some curtains she then set on fire. She then took off on foot.

The blaze didn't get too out of control -- Velarde's husband managed to put out the fire, but suffered some burns to his hands in the process.

According to police, had Velarde's husband not been able to locate and extinguish the fire when he did, he would have been trapped in the burning apartment because the fire was lit at a "choke point" in the hallway of the building.

Velarde, who has a history of alcoholism and domestic violence, was booked into a Maricopa County jail on one count of arson.

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James King
Contact: James King

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