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Man Catches Fire After Being Tasered

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the that's-some-fine-police-work-there-lou dept.

Idle 13

An anonymous Coward writes "West Australian Police tasered a man while arresting him for sniffing petrol, and managed to set fire to him in the process. Details seem to be scanty so far, but I trust the audience here to do the maths as to whether the ignition source was the taser itself."

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Poor Summary. (1)

stainless-steel-vash (1290528) | about 5 years ago | (#28781817)

"It is alleged the man was threatening police with a container of petrol and a cigarette lighter, and ignored repeated requests to stop, when he was shot." He had a lighter- now do the maths (? it's plural?) it is 50/50 whether the lighter caused it or the taser. Personally though, I think they should have arrested him for illegal use of a fire arm.

Re:Poor Summary. (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 5 years ago | (#28795839)

If the man was threatening the police officer, I don't really care that he got lit on fire.

Why? (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28782367)

Do we waste public money on having armed men go after you for killing your own brain cells? (observers of Australian policing will be shocked to learn that this is yet another dysfunctional interaction between the cops and the aboriginals...)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28783349)

"Do we waste public money on having armed men go after you for killing your own brain cells?"

Because we'd end up wasting money on health care or cleanup and disposal of your dead body otherwise. We like to trot out recreational use of drugs as "victimless crimes" that should rightfully go overlooked in favor of crimes with victims, and I'm fine with that when you're talking about marijuana or alcohol in reasonable quantities. But for gasoline or crystal meth? That'll come around and bite the public in the ass eventually.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#28783903)

"Because we'd end up wasting money on health care or cleanup and disposal of your dead body otherwise."

Yes, because I'm sure all of that is much cheaper than sending out armed squads of men to pick people up, put them through the court system, and then keep them in jail. You do realize that it is far cheaper and more effective to treat people, right? To paraphrase Bill Hicks, drugs addicts are sick, you don't put sick people in jail. Besides, why should it be the government's business if you want to harm yourself? By your rationale the government would have to monitor your food intake, make sure you are exercising, and bust into your bedroom every time you are getting it on to make sure you are wearing a condom. Oh yeah, and alcohol, tobacco, skydiving, and motorcycles are all out. Why do we respect and insist on personal freedoms in all of these areas and then have such a mental disconnect when it comes to drugs? Why does it matter that some people hurt themselves while on drugs? Why not improve education and treatment? It is cheaper, more effective, and more humane.

Re:Why? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28793009)

because drug addicts don't just hurt themselfs, they hurt everyone around them. take a look at the reason for 1/2 the assults and robberies - drugs.

and the reason for tobacco and alcohol is unlike speed or ice, i have can gave a beer or a smoke without going off my fucking brain. totally different class of drugs sunshine....

Re:Why? (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#28793663)

Are you really suggesting that alcohol does not cause people to do bad things? Really? Have you not seen the stats on drunk driving? Domestic abuse? Rape? Alcohol is an incredibly destructive drug that definitely leads people to, as you so eloquently put it "go off their fscking brain". Even if these drugs were more likely to cause damage (the vast majority aren't, alcohol is one of the worst we have by every metric), it would be irrelevant. The key point you need to ask is whether or not society is better with or without prohibition. Studies show that more people do drugs when they are against the law. Making them against the law puts the business in the hands of criminals, rather than pharmacists. Rehab is orders of magnitude cheaper than jail, especially when you consider recidivism rates (ie, jail only makes people worse for the most part, they come out and are unemployable and become real criminals). When drugs are illegal, addicts are much less likely to seek treatment due to the underground nature of their activities. Illegal drugs are by their very nature going to be more dangerous and addictive, there is no quality/dosage control. Addictive and harmful chemicals can be added into the brew at will by unscrupulous dealers (see all the homemade moonshine related blindness during the American prohibition of alcohol). Prohibition also drives up prices, making junkies more likely to steal. Where is the benefit in keeping it illegal? Making the drug use itself a crime only serves to make these people more dangerous to the rest of us. It is cheaper and more effective to help them with their problems, and to at least make an attempt to rehabilitate them so that they can become productive, tax paying members of society rather than life long criminals and leeches.

Re:Why? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28791613)

The police have to protect the people he might harm.

Re:Why? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about 5 years ago | (#28792993)

Actually, another person living in the house, where the petrol sniffer was, called the cops because he was getting abusive.

I think that's certainly a justified reason for police involvement.

More interesting topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28782429)

I red "can matches fire after being tasered ?" :)

HCF (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 5 years ago | (#28788809)

...It is alleged the man...ignored repeated requests to stop, when he was shot.

The man then caught fire...

There's got to be a HCF [wikipedia.org] joke in there somewhere.

The police did a great job. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28792995)

this guy, after threatening to set the police officers involved on fire with a tin of petrol and a lighter, who refused repeated orders to drop the weapon, came at the officers who then tasered him. their only alternative would be to use their fire arms. he has burns to only 10% of his body vs being dead.

i can't even begin to fathom how the ALS justifies in their minds that this is in anyway the fault of the police or the taser.

Most likely (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | about 5 years ago | (#28794149)

If the taser caused an electrical arc, its possible the arc ignited the gas fumes. The other most likely possibility is that as the taser struck the man, it caused his muscles to contract making his hand operate the lighter which in turn would have ignited the gas fumes (I'm asuming the fumes would have been the main cause for the start of the fire, unless he was covered in gasoline himself).

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