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LOCKPORT – A man who set his car on fire after crashing it into a stop sign with two girls inside was granted five years’ probation Friday, as Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said she was “pleasantly surprised” that the defendant’s mental health counseling was showing results.

Christopher G. Pakosigan, 33, of 80th Street, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty last year to attempted third-degree arson, aggravated driving while intoxicated and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He torched his own 2000 Mercedes-Benz after the crash on the Robert Moses Parkway at Lake Road in Porter.

At a court appearance last May, defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said Pakosigan’s conduct was “unexplainable except for mental illness.”

Besides the probation, Pakosigan must pay fines and fees totaling $2,875.