A drunken man caught fire when police attempted to subdue him with a taser.
A suspected drunk driver, whose clothes caught fire after he was subdued with a stun gun by a Chesterfield Police officer, has been listed in critical condition. The incident happened early Sunday morning after the police attempted to bring him under control using a taser. The device discharges a high amount of non-lethal electricity into a human body to momentarily incapacitate the person being tasered.
The driver was injured when he lost control of his car and rolled it several times on the bridge just north of Jefferson Davis Highway and Chester Road. The crash happened following a car chase after Chesterfield Police pursued the vehicle, confirmed a Chesterfield Police spokesman,
“An officer stopped a 2012 Volkswagen sedan in the 7200 block of Jefferson Davis Highway for suspicion of DUI. As the officer approached, the driver accelerated and fled, traveling south on Jefferson Davis Highway. Police officers pursued and the driver lost control of the car on the bridge just north of Jefferson Davis and Chester Rd. The car rolled several times, trapping the driver inside.”
Police officers alerted fire officials and both teams jointly freed the man. However, the man appeared inebriated and tried to fight with people who had just rescued him. That’s when a Chesterfield Police officer decided to incapacitate him with a shot of his taser, continued the statement,
“One officer discharged his taser at the man in order to bring him under control and this ignited the man’s clothing, which may have come in contact with gasoline during the crash. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and transported the man to VCU Medical Center.”
Apparently, the man’s clothing must have been soaked with gasoline that was leaking from the vehicle after the crash. Moreover, the man, whose identity hasn’t been released by the police, was in high spirits, shared an officer. Though the police haven’t confirmed, it is suspected the driver was carrying bottles of liquor with him in the car, which might have aided in his engulfment in flames.
The police officers, as well as the firefighters, were surprised by the accelerated rate at which the man caught fire. The highly flammable nature of the alcohol, combined with gasoline, certainly proved to be a near-lethal combination that quickly ignited with the spark that a Taser produces.
The still unnamed victim of this unfortunate mishap continues his recovery in the hospital. At this time, authorities have not decided on criminal charges for the driver.
[Image Credit | WA Today]