A New York police chief recently confirmed that an unarmed man burst into flames after an officer attempted to subdue him with a Taser. The 29-year-old man remains in critical condition at a Syracuse burn unit.
On Friday, Catskill Police Chief Dave Darling told reporters that Jason Jones walked into the village police department last weekend and appeared to be intoxicated before getting into a confrontation with officers. Although the officers were not wearing body cameras, Chief Darling confirmed that surveillance cameras recorded part of the incident.
Jones reportedly stripped off some of his clothing in the police station and doused himself with hand sanitizer in front of officers before they attempted to subdue him. When a cop deployed his Taser and fired, Jones instantly erupted into flames
“I think they were afraid he was going to hurt himself, and that’s what started it,” Darling said. “There are still details that we’re trying to develop.”
Jones was transported to the Westchester Medical Center’s Trauma and Burn Center, where he remains in critical condition. Darling added that the incident is under investigation by the Greene County district attorney’s office.
Kevin Luibrand, an attorney for Jones’ family, has requested that the police department preserve all videos of the incident, including potential computer data from the Taser.
“The only timeline we’re on right now with the family is to get him recovered — that’s all the family is focused on,” Luibrand told Newsweek. “They’re focused on what’s important to them right now, which is the health of their son.”