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Around 1:10 a.m. on October 13, a motorcycle driver ran a red light near Asher Avenue and S Pine St in Little Rock, Arkansas. A police cruiser was immediately behind the suspect and prompted the driver to pull over. Rather than stop to receive a warning or a ticket, the driver sped off — a decision he would soon come to regret.
The Arkansas State Police officers who gave chase can be heard on the dashcam video of the pursuit noting that the motorcycle driver, driving recklessly through residential areas, was hitting speeds in excess of 80 mph. During a short stint along the highway, the suspect whipped by at 110 mph. Fortunately, since it was early morning, there were only a few vehicles on the road, meaning fewer obstacles and potential victims.
At one point, when the suspect blew through another red light, he nearly collided with a vehicle entering the intersection. Unfazed, he motored onward.
On several occasions, police drew up close to the vehicle but did not make contact.
Finally, approximately nine minutes into the chase, the suspect proved out of maneuvers. Near W 44th Street and Chandler St, he pulled off the road and into an unpaved area where he crashed with police still hot on his tail.
ASP officers pursued the suspect on foot.
One officer drew his Taser. It is unclear from the footage whether the officer fired his stun gun, but as he closed in on the suspect, the suspect tumbled. As soon as the man hit the ground, flames enveloped him.
The tongues of fire that subsequently leapt from the suspect as he blindly stumbled forward may have been the result of an accelerant on his person, potentially contained in a jerrycan in his backpack.
One officer radioed, "He's on fire!"
\u201c#Arkansas\n*potentially disturbing*\nDashcam video (reportedly in Little Rock) from October 13th shows a pursuit suspect on a motorcycle fleeing from police on foot when a taser is used; igniting the suspect into a roaring fireball. They apparently had a jerrycan in their backpack.\u201d— Shane B. Murphy (@Shane B. Murphy) 1666325771
As officers hurried to procure a fire extinguisher, the suspect cried out, "Help me!"
Help arrived within seconds. Advising the man to "lay on the ground," ASP officers extinguished the fire and began cutting off the the suspect's melted jacket.
Once the residual fires had been put out and the suspect was receiving first aid, one officer farther afield quipped, "Good reason not to run, eh?"
Another officer, tending to the badly-burned and handcuffed suspect, said, "Bet you think twice next time."
An ASP spokesman told TheBlaze that the "investigation remains active and until adjudication of the case, no other information will be released."
The full chase and aftermath can be seen in this video:
TASER deployment ignites motorcycle rider into a BALL OF FIRE! Arkansas State Police pursuityoutu.be
If the Taser had triggered the fire in this incident, it wouldn't be the first time in recent months.
On February 27, a sheriff's deputy in Osceola County, Florida, caught up to a suspect who had similarly evaded law enforcement on a motorcycle. The suspect, Jean Barreto, pulled into a Wawa gas station to fill up his vehicle.
Spotting Barreto, Deputy David Crawford tried to make an arrest. Barreto resisted, prompting Crawford to use force.
Crawford fired his Taser at Barreto, accidentally sparking the gasoline that had been spilled in the fracas.
Barreto allegedly wound up with burns over 75% of his body. Crawford was also hospitalized but quickly released.
Florida deputy facing negligence charges after fiery takedown at gas station: Bodycam video | ABC7youtu.be
On October 30, 2019, 29-year-old Jason Jones reportedly rushed into the Catskill Police Department in Greene County, New York. Agitated and argumentative — having been told earlier to leave a bar by police officers — he confronted police, reportedly wanting to talk about how the officers had "handled the situation."
After pacing around and attempting to open a door, Jones tore off his shirt and doused himself with hand sanitizer.
An officer produced his Taser as the situation appeared to be going sideways. The Taser, when fired, set the flammable hand sanitizer and Jones ablaze.
After 45 days in a Syracuse hospital ICU, Jones succumbed to his injuries.
Video shows Catskill police running after stun gun causes man to burst into flamesyoutu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.