John Wayne Bobbitt, the former Prince William County man whose wife sliced off his penis 11 years ago, has been arrested in Las Vegas on charges of domestic violence.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police arrested Bobbitt, 37, Wednesday on two counts of battery-domestic violence after he allegedly got in a fight involving his 14-year-old stepson and his wife of three years at their home.

Bobbitt, a tow-truck driver and former brothel employee, apparently became angry when his 14-year-old stepson discovered "sexual paraphernalia" in his bedroom closet about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to police.

Bobbitt grabbed the boy by the shoulders and threw him down, according to the police incident report. Then Bobbitt allegedly began striking the stepson in the face with a closed fist. Bobbitt's wife tried pulling him off the boy, but Bobbitt grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her down, the police report says.

But Bobbitt's attorney and a friend who were present that night contend that a different scenario altogether played out -- one in which Bobbitt played the hero.

According to Bobbitt's attorney, Barry Levinson, the stepson became enraged when he saw what "seemed to be a collage of sexual aids" in his parents' bedroom. The boy saw "sexual aids and toys" on the bed and then started calling his mother vulgar names and pushing and hitting her, the attorney said.

Bobbitt heard the commotion from another room and went into the bedroom and "discovered his wife and stepson embroiled in a physical confrontation. . . ." Bobbitt called police but was subsequently arrested, Levinson said.

In a news release he called "John Bobbitt: Love Hurts," Levinson wrote: "John Wayne Bobbitt discovered once again that love can indeed be painful. . . . Mr. Bobbitt's actions were undertaken solely in an attempt to diffuse a violent situation."

Bobbitt remains held in the Las Vegas City jail. A judge set bond at $10,000, but Bobbitt could not afford to pay it, Levinson said. An arraignment is scheduled for Monday at Las Vegas Municipal Court, he said.

A friend who said she witnessed the incident at the Bobbitts' apartment said that the 14-year-old stepson "flipped out" when he was giving her daughter and her daughter's friend a tour of the home and discovered a sex toy.

The argument escalated and the boy threatened to hit his mother, said Dawn Fletcher, a casino cashier who was there with her husband, David, to pick up money Bobbitt's wife owed them.

"John said to him, 'You're not going to hit your mom. . . . If you want to hit anyone, you're a man, I'm a man, hit me,' " Fletcher said.

The boy pushed his stepfather and then Bobbitt, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds, "grabbed [the boy] by his arm and pushed him to the floor, and then the boy got one of his hands free and started punching John on his back repeatedly," Fletcher said.

Bobbitt became a notorious figure in 1993 when his then-wife, Lorena, cut off his penis with a 12-inch kitchen knife.

Bobbitt was charged with marital sexual assault in November 1993 and was acquitted.

Lorena Bobbitt, who was charged with malicious wounding, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a January 1994 trial in Prince William County Circuit Court.