Man Upset He Didn't Qualify For Coronavirus Stimulus Check Tried To Light Wife On Fire, Police Say

Joe Macias' wife told authorities he came home after drinking, pushed her down, pulled her hair, and poured gasoline all over her before unsuccessfully trying to lit a cigarette. 

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A New Mexico man is behind bars after authorities say the man — who was angry he did not qualify for a coronavirus-related stimulus check — tried to set his disabled wife on fire in the couple’s mobile home.

Joe Macias, 63, is now charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery after authorities say he allegedly doused his wife and mobile home with gasoline before unsuccessfully trying to set it on fire, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.

Albuquerque police responded to the mobile home park around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after getting a call about a family dispute and found Macias walking down the street in what appeared to be soiled clothes, according to a criminal complaint. The officer then noticed that he could smell a “very strong odor of gasoline” and realized Macias' jeans were covered in the substance.

The officer found Macias’ disabled wife, identified in the report as Gloria Macias, laying on the floor of the couple’s trailer.

Joe Macias

She told police the incident began around 5 p.m when Macias came home with a four-pack of beer and she could “tell he had been drinking.”

She said Macias was “upset because he did not qualify for the stimulus check," according to the complaint.

After finishing the four-pack, Macias wanted to buy more beer and asked his wife for her car keys. She said she refused, and he began using “vulgar language” and screaming at her, according to the complaint. Macias allegedly screamed, “You’re going to pay the consequences,” and then slammed the door, leaving the trailer on foot.

When he came back a few hours later, he was even more upset and was carrying a gas can in his hand, the wife told police. Macias allegedly pushed her onto the floor, tried to take her cell phone, pulled her hair, and then poured gasoline all over her and the trailer while she was stuck on the floor, according to the report.

“The smell of gasoline was apparent from the street of the residence and Gloria’s pajamas and hair were soaking wet when I arrived,” Rachel Cortez, of the Albuquerque Police Department, wrote in the criminal complaint.

The woman told police Macias had tried to light a cigarette several times to ignite the fire, but the lighter was covered in gasoline and it did not work.

Gloria, who told police she was scared for her life, was eventually able to call a neighbor and ask for help.

Macias has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

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