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Man critically burned trying to abduct, murder estranged wife in Carrollwood

6:51 PM, Feb 6, 2012   |    comments
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A scorched patch of grass marks the spot where investigators say Matthew Wong lit himself on fire while chasing after his estranged wife.

 

Carrollwood, Florida -- A Wesley Chapel man was critically burned after investigators say a plan to torch his estranged wife backfired.

From her upstairs apartment, Capitola Scott could hear her neighbor, 47-year-old Gloria Davis, shrieking for help and then saw Davis being chased. Scott opened the door, yelling at her to get inside.

Photo Gallery: Man severely burned photos from crime scene

Police say the man chasing Davis with a jug full of gasoline was her husband of 25 years, 50-year-old Matthew Wong. The two had been separated since October.

Detectives say Wong had apparently planned to ambush Davis. They say he rented a car and blacked out the windows. But  Davis spotted Wong and immediately began to run, screaming for help.

As he frantically chased his wife, investigators say Wong inadvertently splattered gasoline all over himself, and when he went to torch the apartment where his wife was seeking refuge, it was Wong who went up in flames.

Neighbors used fire extinguishers to put out the fire that was consuming him and some nearby bushes. A scorched patch of grass now marks the spot where he fell to the ground.

Investigators say Wong was rushed to Tampa General Hospital with life-threatening burns. They say the couple has two older children who also live in the Bay area.

The incident comes just days after a high-profile trial, during which Chris Hanney was convicted of dousing his wife, Audrey Mabrey, with gasoline.

Investigators say they're not yet sure if the timing of the cases is a coincidence, or if this was a copycat type of attack.

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