A man is doused with gasoline, threatening to use a lighter to set himself on fire. So, what do you do? Send an electric spark, in the form of a taser, to set him on fire so he doesn’t have to use up his lighter. DUH!
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A suicidal man who had doused himself in gasoline became engulfed in flames at an Arlington home Monday after an officer used a stun gun him, police said.
The officer who used the Taser on the man believed that the man was holding a lighter in his hand and was about to use it, police spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison said at a news conference.
Harrison acknowledged the risk of using an electrical stun gun near gasoline, but said the man was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room.”
“We realize that a Taser can have some other implications, but we also know he had something in his hand,” Harrison said. “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.”
The man was taken to a hospital. His condition was unknown.
Three police officers were also taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation. Their injuries were not life threatening, Harrison said.
The officer who used the stun gun believed the man was holding a lighter in his hand and was about to use it, Sgt. VaNessa Harrison, police spokeswoman, said at a news conference.