Police in Arlington, Texas, this week deployed a stun gun on a suicidal man who had doused himself in gasoline — and he subsequently caught fire.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Arlington Police on Monday responded to a call about a distressed man who was standing outside an Arlington home and was threatening to light himself on fire after covering himself in gasoline.
Arlington Police spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison told reporters on Monday that an officer on the scene deployed the Taser on the man because they believed the man had a lighter in his hand and was about to use it on himself.
Harrison acknowledged that it was potentially dangerous to use an electrical stun gun on a man who was already covered in gasoline, but she said the officer felt there was no other option.
“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 nearby hospital, and his condition has not yet been revealed. Additionally, three police officers on the scene were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Raw Story has reached out to the Arlington Police Department for comment about the man’s condition and whether the department has yet determined the cause of the fire, and will add their responses if they reply.
Watch a local news report of the incident below.