A 29yo Upstate New York man walked into a police station last week, stripped off his clothing, and, at some point, doused himself with hand sanitizer. Local reports say the man was intoxicated and started a confrontation with officers. The combination of electricity from the taser and the flammable liquid caused the man to ignite into flames.
According to the local news Times-Union, Catskill Village Police Department said Jason Jones, 29, walked into the police station and sparked a "confrontation with officers." The man stripped his clothing off and doused himself with hand sanitizer. Chief Dave Darling, a former State Police senior investigator, said officers tased Jones to subdue him.
"I think they were afraid he was going to hurt himself, and that's what started it," Darling told the Times Union. "There are still details that we're trying to develop."
It was at that moment when Jones burst into flames. The local paper said he "is in an intensive care unit at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. His condition is grave, according to people briefed on the matter."
Darling described the incident as "horrible" and said Greene County district attorney's office is investigating what happened on Friday night, Oct. 29.
Jones' attorney, Kevin Luibrand, told CBS 6, "his client is in a burn unit in Syracuse in a medical situation of the most serious type." He said the incident was caught on video.
"In a letter to Darling dated Thursday, Luibrand requested that the department preserve all evidence in the case, including audio and video recordings from street cameras and other devices, as well as any computer data from any Tasers that were used during the encounter," the Times Union wrote.
The lessons learned are three things:
- Please don't start a confrontation with officers in their police station.
- Know your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption.
- And most importantly, don't douse yourself with hand sanitizer that contains alcohol because you'll light up like a Christmas tree upon being tased.