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MCSO: Man who started brush fire near 143rd Avenue and Jomax Road taken into custody

Posted: 2:54 PM, Jul 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-09 23:29:36-04
143rd Avenue and Jomax Fire
143rd Avenue and Jomax fire
Christopher Riley

Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a man who they say stole an ATV and set fire in a desert area northwest of the Valley Sunday afternoon.

The 133-acre "Pinnacle Fire" broke out around 1:30 p.m. near 143rd Avenue and Jomax Road. Fire officials say the fire was fully contained Monday afternoon.

The incident started with a domestic violence call at a home nearby, according to MCSO. When deputies arrived on scene, the suspect, 35-year-old Christopher Riley, was gone, according to Sgt. Bryant Vanegas.

Riley allegedly took off on foot, stole an ATV and then started the fire. That's when a good Samaritan spotted him and tried to help.

“She goes to try to help him and he ends up stealing her vehicle from her,” said Vanegas.

After Riley stole the woman's car, deputies got another call about a trespasser in a backyard nearby.

“The homeowner confronts him he then takes off to another residence,” said Vanegas

Deputies located Riley cowering in a garage and took him into custody.

According to MCSO officials, Riley was taken into custody around 3 p.m. and was bit in the thigh by one of MCSO's K9 units in the process. His condition was not immediately available.

Riley faces a multiple charges including theft, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and criminal damage. Other charges are pending, according to Vanegas.