Saratoga Springs, Utah — A suspect is in the hospital after he allegedly tried to force a 69-year-old woman to drive him away from her daughter’s home, and then set fire to the home.
69-year-old Frances Mach arrived at the Saratoga Springs home Saturday night around 9:30 p.m., when she says a man jumped into her car and told her to drive him away.
“He says ‘take me out of here…go!” Mach said. “He started to reach for the steering wheel and he smacked me with the other hand and said ‘go!'”
Mach says she was not going to take the unknown man anywhere and fought back.
“I just balled up my fist and I nailed his head about three or four times and told him to get out of my car,” Mach said.
She says the man did just that, and then proceeded to run inside her daughters house.
“I heard all this crashing and banging, and the door was locked so I called the police,” Mach said. “They were here in no time.”
Officers arrived at the house and reported seeing flames coming from and upstaist bedroom window.
“We were able to clear the downstairs but each time we entered in the upstairs, the smoke was so strong the officers were unable to go completely into the house,” said Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. Grant Ferre.
The officers called for help from the fire department and were eventually able to get the suspect, Christopher Bigler, 38, out of the house.
Bigler was flown to an area hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
He was listed in fair condition Sunday afternoon, and will be transported to jail when he is released from the hosptial.
The house was significantly damaged from the fire and the family was not allowed back in as of Sunday.
Mach says she was not going to go anywhere when Bigler got into her car.
“He couldn’t believe it, I’ll tell you what, because I fought back. He looked about half scared,” Mach said. “They told me his face was already starting to swell, so I must have landed him pretty good.”