A Sierra Vista man was arrested at gunpoint early Thursday, accused of beating and kidnapping a woman in a domestic violence incident and trying to set her on fire before she escaped from the trunk of his car, authorities said.
Sierra Vista police say the woman, bound with duct tape on her feet and wrists, was able to escape from the trunk of a black Ford Mustang when her assailant stopped to buy gas to try setting her on fire a second time.
Christopher Gray, 30, is being held without bond at the Cochise County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence/kidnapping, domestic violence/aggravated assault and attempted first-degree-murder, a news release from Sierra Vista Police Department said.
Authorities were alerted around 4:15 a.m. by a 911 caller at a Circle K store in Tombstone who reported a woman bound with duct tape yelling for help after she was able to throw herself out of the trunk of the vehicle.
"She had injuries consistent with having been severely beaten and she reported that she had been kidnapped from an east side residence in Sierra Vista," the news release said.
The suspect fled in his car toward Bisbee on State Route 80 before police arrived, but was located a half-hour later doing about 75 miles an hour in a 45-mile an hour speed zone, police said
An officer "performed a high risk traffic stop" and took the suspect into custody at gunpoint.
Inside the vehicle, detectives "found evidence supporting that Gray broke into an eastside Sierra Vista residence in the early morning while the victim was sleeping. Detectives learned that Gray beat the victim severely, tied her wrists and ankles with duct tape, and forced her into the passenger compartment of his car. He continued beating the woman repeatedly while in transit." the news release said.
"Gray then doused the victim with a flammable liquid and unsuccessfully attempted to ignite the kidnapped woman somewhere in the desert between Bisbee and Tombstone."
After that attempt failed, the suspect headed for Tombstone to purchase a gas can and more gasoline at a Circle K store. At that point, "the victim pulled the emergency latch on the trunk, escaped the vehicle, and yelled for help," the police news release said.
Authorities believe several people were in the parking lot of the Circle K store at 24 N. Sumner St. in Tombstone when the woman escaped from the car, and they are asking witnesses to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call Sierra Vista Police Detective Justin Dannels at (520) 452-7500.