Woman in burning house shot by police with stun gun
By Stephanie Slater

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

BOCA RATON Police shocked a 30-year-old woman with a Taser early Saturday after she chased her ex-husband with a knife and set fire to his bed.

Maria Munster woke her live-in ex-husband, Bill Dempsey, around 3 a.m. to tell him her car keys had been stolen, according to a police report.

When Dempsey asked her to turn off the light, she punched him in the face.

Then she grabbed a kitchen knife and chased him down East Country Club Boulevard, police said.

As Dempsey, 42, called 911 from his cellphone, Munster locked herself in the house and smashed the windows of his BMW parked in the attached garage, according to the arrest report. She then got another knife from the kitchen, poured an accelerant on Dempsey's bed and ignited it.

The fire quickly spread through the rest of the house, causing an estimated $70,000 in damage, fire-rescue investigators said.

"Even though the house was on fire, Maria would not come out," officer Matthew McGarry wrote in the report.

A K-9 officer finally persuaded her to step outside the front door. When she did, another officer shot her with his Taser.

Police charged Munster with domestic battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson, criminal mischief and obstruction without violence.

She pleaded guilty to battery on a law enforcement officer and possession of Xanax in 2002, Broward County court records show.

Munster is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail in the Palm Beach County Jail.