Way back in May of 2005, Rhys Hickey was already divorced from his ex-wife, the mother of their son. That was when he threatened her life.
Two years after that, he was convicted for that offense and given a month in jail. His wife took out a protective order, and in a better world, that would have been the end of them as a couple.
Maybe, just maybe, you could understand them reconciling if Hickey drastically turned his life around at that point, but such was not the case. The hefty, 47-year-old Hickey -- court records state he packs close to three bills on his 5-10 frame -- was just starting his life of crime, and eventually both his ex-wife and their son would have cause to fear for their lives.
On his Myspace page, the UH history grad said he liked drinking beer, and boy, does he ever. In the summer of 2008, he was convicted of stealing pain reliever and brew from a Houston store.
Five months later, Big Rhys was apparently thirsty again, because that was when he got popped by the constables with some shrimp, soda and beer he hadn't paid for. He was given a couple of weeks in jail.
Five months later, Hickey was nabbed again, this time with bottled water, 7-Up and, of course, a couple of mixed cases of Bud and Bud Light. Since this was his third go-round, he was charged with a felony, and was sentenced to six months in state jail, a sentence from which there is no early release.
Which in part explains why it took him until September of last year -- a full 13 months -- to get nailed yet again with a bunch of swiped drinks. This time he was caught by the Harris County Sheriff's Office with a case each of water, soda and fruit punch, not to mention six cases of beer. For some reason, he was sentenced only to 190 days in Harris County Jail for that offense. With 80 days credit for time served, he was probably out again by last Christmas.
And he was back to his thieving ways by this past February, when a Houston cop nailed him with "five packs of pasta, three packs of tamales, two bottles of shampoo, one jar of pasta sauce, and two containers of dish soap."
And oh yeah, almost forgot: "eight packs of beer."
This time around, he only got 90 days in the county. Hell, the longer sentences weren't working. Might as well shorten it this time around.
And up to now, save for the terroristic threat way back at the beginning of this fiasco, and for the guy's obvious need for court-ordered alcohol treatment, the whole thing seems almost comical -- this big fat loser lumbering around Harris County trying and failing to swipe vast oceans of beer and cokes. It looked like most of the merchants had gotten their beer back and nobody had gotten hurt.
Until Sunday morning... Apparently, at some point, Rhys's ex-wife had allowed this chump to move back in with her and their son, even in spite of the fact that he had quite clearly not righted the sinking ship that was his life.
The three of them were in her car Sunday morning and according to court records, Hickey became enraged when his ex got lost en route to a friend's house. He then allegedly beat her until she nearly lost consciousness and then ordered that she drive his fat ass home.
Her left eye was lacerated and blackened but she managed to comply. She took herself to the hospital, where it was discovered that Rhys had broken a bone in her face, but she nevertheless went right back to the home she shared with him. There, he allegedly attacked her again, pushing her so hard she hit her head on a washing machine.
That was when his 15-year-old son attempted to intervene, only to have his dad allegedly pin him to a wall with his hand around his throat. With his other hand, Rhys allegedly smacked his son's face, causing what were described as visible injuries.
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Hickey wasn't arrested until yesterday, which gave him a chance to celebrate the Dallas Mavericks' NBA championship on his Facebook page.
Hickey is now charged with two felonies -- aggravated assault of a family member, and aggravated assault of a family member with a choking enhancement.
If he's convicted this time, let's hope he gets more than a few weeks in jail.
And let's also hope his ex-wife doesn't take him back.