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Neighbor run over by Murray man after trying to help woman in argument, police say

Neighbor run over by Murray man after trying to help woman in argument
Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 11, 2023

MURRAY, Utah — A Murray woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after allegedly being run over by a man who was arguing with his wife and child. The man later threatened to return and "finish the job" while he was arrested.

Police say they found the woman in the street after responding to the scene Saturday night. The woman had suffered head lacerations and blunt force-related trauma following the incident.

According to the arrest documents. the wife of Erwin Jay Riggs said her husband came home intoxicated and an argument began over him using prescription drugs. Riggs, 37, then left the apartment and removed the air from his wife's vehicle tires and broke the tail light before going back inside and taking her keys so she couldn't leave.

As Riggs attempted to drive away, his wife and 16-year-old son chased after his car. When the car moved into reverse with the driver's side door open, it allegedly pinned Riggs' wife's chest against another vehicle.

Hearing Riggs' wife screaming, a female neighbor ran to help and placed herself behind the two vehicles and stuck her hand inside Riggs' car. With her hand trapped, Riggs backed out of the parking spot and dragged the neighbor approximately 10-15 yards, according to the documents, before the woman was freed.

Once she was disconnected from the car, the neighbor rolled in the street. Riggs' wife and son said they then saw him drive over the top of the woman's head before he fled the scene.

After being tracked down and located, Riggs allegedly smelled of alcohol and was belligerent with officers before being arrested on multiple charges of aggravated assault, intoxication and criminal mischief.

When being taken into custody, Riggs told officers that he was going to return to the home and "finish the job," adding that "next time this happens, you ain't gonna find me."

“Even the initial situation, without the injury to the bystander, is always heart-wrenching," said Kimmi Wolf with the Utah Domestic Violence coalition. "Obviously, the bystander was trying to do the right thing and received some rather significant injuries in the process.”

Wolf says anyone who witnesses domestic violence should call 911 and keep a safe distance if they can.

“That bystander they may think, 'Oh, should I leap into action or should I call?'" she said. "They may be the first person to make that call.”