Police taze suicidal man covered in gasoline, man gets engulfed in flames

Photo: UPI

July 12 (UPI) — A man threatening suicide in Arlington, Texas doused himself with gasoline when police entered his home and became engulfed in flames, police said.

The officer who fired the taser believed the gasoline-covered man was about to set himself on fire with an object in his hand, which the officer believed was a lighter, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sgt. VaNessa Harrison said that police realize tazing a man covered in gasoline could set him on fire, but said the man, who has not been named, was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room” at the time.

“We realize that a Taser can have some other implications, but we also know he had something in his hand,” she said.

Harrison also said police aren’t sure if the tazing is what set the man on fire.

“It’s unclear at this moment whether he became engulfed in flames from the gasoline and ignitable object he had in his hand or from the Taser,” she said.

“We are aware that it has electrical current,” Harrison further explained, according to NBC 5. “He had something ignitable in his hand as well. So we’re, at least, wanting to disclose everything that took place in the room as best we know right now.”

After the man was set on fire, police officers tried to put out the flames with blankets. The man’s wife said he had burns on 80 percent of his body and is being treated at a hospital.

Three officers also went to the hospital for smoke inhalation.


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