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Man bursts into flames after Taser shock

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 7:44 AM
  • 23 Replies

Story Highlights

  • Man holding a lighter, douses himself with petrol, charges police officer
  • Officer fires Taser stun gun when he ignores command to stop, man catches alight
  • Police had received a report that the man and some others were sniffing glue
  • Man airlifted to hospital to undergo treatment for severe burns in Perth, W. Australia
  •  

     

    (CNN) -- A man, who doused himself with gasoline and charged at an officer, burst into flames when he was hit with a Taser, police in Australia said Tuesday.

    "He was carrying a lighter and pouring himself with petrol," said Inspector Bill Munnee with the West Australian Police. "We don't know if the lighter set it off or something from the Taser."

    Authorities have launched an inquiry into what happened Monday when an officer arrived at the 36-year-old man's house in the remote desert community of Warburton.

    Police had received a report that the man and some others were sniffing glue, Munnee said.

    At the sight of the arriving officers, the man ran out of the house with a container of gasoline and a cigarette lighter, police said.

    When he ignored the officer's command to stop, the officer fired his Taser stun gun -- and the man "caught alight," Munnee said.

    When used, some stun guns emit an electric spark as they deliver an electric current. The jolt of electricity inhibits voluntary control of muscles, temporarily incapacitating the person.

    While the officer tried to put out the fire, a woman from inside the house threw rocks at him, Munnee said. The officer suffered both burns from the fire and cuts from the rocks.

    The man was airlifted to a hospital in the Western Australian capital of Perth, where he is undergoing treatment for severe burns.

    Police charged him with assault with intent to prevent arrest and possession of a deleterious substance.

    The rock-throwing woman was charged with assaulting a public officer.

    "He has an extensive record of very violent behavior toward police and people," Munnee said of the man. "He's not Mother Teresa or the Pope."

    Two years ago, a man in Texas died in a similar incident when he too caught fire after he was shot with a Taser.

    In that case as well, the man had poured gasoline on himself and was resisting arrest.

     

     





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    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 7:44 AM
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    Replies (1-10):
    NeColeMonet
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 8:24 AM

    Sad but disturbingly funny.

    rocklovinggirl
    by Bronze Member on Jul. 21, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    Sniffing glue, eh? I agree though this story is sad it is also kind of funny. (Forgive me, God, lol).


    I support Ron Paul!
    athenax3
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    Sounds like self inflicted to me.....I'm with the other two, sad (because obviously no one wants another human to catch on fire) but oddly funny (because let's face it, the guy is an idiot)


    margroc
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Don't these police officers using tasers realize you don't want an electric spark around gasoline???  My dad taught me that when I was around 8 years old.  I can understand the use of tasers by officers but they really need to either be trained to use them properly and safely or they need to be held accountable when they use them improperly.  Too many people have died from those things.

    athenax3
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:11 AM


    Quoting margroc:

    Don't these police officers using tasers realize you don't want an electric spark around gasoline???  My dad taught me that when I was around 8 years old.  I can understand the use of tasers by officers but they really need to either be trained to use them properly and safely or they need to be held accountable when they use them improperly.  Too many people have died from those things.

    But what SHOULD they have done? Shot him? lol... he limited the options for a good outcome when he doused HIMSELF with a flammmable substance and attacked officers, didn't he?


    margroc
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:41 AM


    Quoting athenax3:

     

    Quoting margroc:

    Don't these police officers using tasers realize you don't want an electric spark around gasoline???  My dad taught me that when I was around 8 years old.  I can understand the use of tasers by officers but they really need to either be trained to use them properly and safely or they need to be held accountable when they use them improperly.  Too many people have died from those things.

    But what SHOULD they have done? Shot him? lol... he limited the options for a good outcome when he doused HIMSELF with a flammmable substance and attacked officers, didn't he?

    But my point is to hit him with a taser would have been the equivalent of throwing a lit match at him.  Most people would know that - it's elementary school science. I don't know what they should have done, I'm not a police officer - thrown a bucket of water at him maybe?  Tasers are relatively new - what would they have done before tasers?

    margroc
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    I would just like to add that I in no way think this moron is a victim here - he's a glue sniffing idiot IMO.  My opinion is that I wish the police would know what they are doing with these things.

    athenax3
    by on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM


    Quoting margroc:

    I would just like to add that I in no way think this moron is a victim here - he's a glue sniffing idiot IMO.  My opinion is that I wish the police would know what they are doing with these things.

    I get what you're saying, but cops are just people too, and in a situation that perhaps they hadn't dealt with previously, where reaction time is critical and trained into them- they may not have thought out all of the potentials when reacting- and frankly some drugged up, gas doused loon rushing at me might make me pull the trigger on that tazer too, "oh my god, here he comes" bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


    Jovaiel
    by Member on Jul. 21, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    Sounds like a case of suicide by police officer. Very sad for everyone - including the poor police officer!

     

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    EireLass
    by Ruby Member on Jul. 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM


    Quoting margroc:

    Don't these police officers using tasers realize you don't want an electric spark around gasoline???  My dad taught me that when I was around 8 years old.  I can understand the use of tasers by officers but they really need to either be trained to use them properly and safely or they need to be held accountable when they use them improperly.  Too many people have died from those things.

    You're right....he probably should have just fired a shot into his leg to stop him.........jeesh.

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