Authorities said a suicidal man who doused himself in gasoline became engulfed in flames after an officer used a stun gun on him.
Arlington police spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison said the officer believed the man was holding a lighter that he intended to use. While Sgt. Harrison recognized the risk of using an electrical stun gun near gasoline, she claimed the man was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Cops arrived at the Arlington home on Monday afternoon, following a report that the man had covered himself—and the room he was in—with gasoline. The officer supposedly deployed his Taser after the agitated man waved his arms while holding the lighter, according to KXAS.
Investigating a suicide attempt and house fire. 3 officers sent to hospital w/smoke inhalation but are okay. pic.twitter.com/3Giu0rhol0
— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) July 10, 2017
“We realize that a Taser can have some other implications, but we also know he had something in his hand,” Sgt. Harrison commented during a news conference. “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.”
WFAA reported that Sgt. Harrison also said officers worked to put out the flames and “stabilized” the man after pulling him out of the burning home.
The man’s wife contested police’s account, telling KXAS that an officer mentioned that her husband would become engulfed in flames if he used his stun gun.
KTVT reported that police have yet to recover the lighter or item that was supposedly seen in the man’s hand.
The officers were treated for smoke inhalation and are expected to be okay.
The Arlington Police Department declined to identify the officer who used his Taser. However, Sgt. Harrison mentioned that all officers involved will likely be placed on administrative leave while an investigation is carried out.
The man’s family said he’s in critical condition.
[Featured Image: KXAS Screenshot]