Man accused of assaulting wife with drain cleaner and glue

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ST. ANN, Mo. – Police responded to a fire call in St. Ann earlier this week and uncovered a bizarre case of alleged domestic abuse, as a man was arrested and accused of assaulting his wife with glue and drain cleaner.

People at the Santa Ana Apartments on Ashby near St. Charles Rock Road called to report the building’s on fire four or five times recently but there’s never been a fire, according to St. Ann police.

A husband and wife were linked to the most recent call on Tuesday and perhaps two or three others, police said.

Evidence of the abuse was found on top of the wife’s head, police said. There was a bald spot where household chemicals took off her hair.

“During this specific assault, we were informed (by the victim that) the male in this incident had dumped Drano on the female’s head and her back,” said St. Ann Police Capt. Dan Cowsert. “He told us that it was not Drano; that it was actually Gorilla Glue.”

With the building being a high-rise, it had to be evacuated; four fire trucks and two medics responded, police said.

Robert Rhoades, 36, and his wife, 29-year-old Samantha Rhoades, made the call while in a state of drug-induced paranoia, police said.

Both were charged with one count of felony terror threat because of the resulting disruption and anxiety for the building’s residents. Robert Rhoades was also charged with one count of domestic assault for the injuries to his wife.

“While they are using, they become very paranoid and believe something is taking place that is actually not,” Capt. Cowsert said.

The couple remains jailed on a $10,000 bond. They have a child who is now with a grandparent, police said.

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