Death of man who caught fire after Taser under investigation
LINDSAY, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma authorities are investigating the death of a man who was hit by an officer’s Taser and caught on fire after allegedly dousing himself with gasoline and taking out a lighter.
Norman police requested a welfare check Tuesday on a man who’d made comments about suicide, said McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett.
Authorities, who were responding to a call of a man acting erratic, found the man about 2 miles (3 kilometers) northwest of Lindsay sitting inside a van with a container of gasoline.
Authorities said the man refused to step out of the vehicle and was disregarding the officers’ orders. He later came out of the vehicle with a lighter in his hand. He caught fire after a police officer deployed a Taser.
The man was burned beyond recognition, Hewett said.
Lindsay city manager Stephen Mills said he doesn’t think the officer violated any training when he used his Taser. He said the officer believed there was a greater risk of the man getting back into the van with gasoline and a lighter than firing the Taser.
Tasers can ignite any flammable liquid or fumes present.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the man who died at the scene.
An investigation of the death is ongoing to determine what caused the fire.