Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

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justaman
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Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby justaman » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

An Australian man allegedly doused himself in petrol and was set on fire by a taser after he charged police with a container full of petrol and a lighter. Apparently the gentleman in question was sniffing petrol before the incident and was hit in the bridge of the nose by the taser. Police are not ruling out that the fire was caused by the taser, though they are currently of the opinion that it was caused by the lighter.

Anyway: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10585884
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Internetmeme » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:42 pm UTC

Well, electricity can cause a fire. If tihs was one of those that has a visible arc, then that probably was the cause.
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Quenouille » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:52 pm UTC

That seems like a rather straightforward case: douse a mannequin in petrol and tase it, see if it catches. Repeat to pinpoint required dose if necessary. Best way to prove whether it was the taser or the cigarette lighter that did it. (still probably the taser 'though)

Not that there aren't abusive uses of tasers, but this seems to be... well, more within tolerance limits. I'm not exactly sure how to handle a man trying to set you on fire. It's definitely different from the usual ''man got tasered eight times until his heart gave up'' cases out there.

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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby netcrusher88 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:01 am UTC

Quenouille wrote:That seems like a rather straightforward case: douse a mannequin in petrol and tase it, see if it catches. Repeat to pinpoint required dose if necessary. Best way to prove whether it was the taser or the cigarette lighter that did it. (still probably the taser 'though)

Not that there aren't abusive uses of tasers, but this seems to be... well, more within tolerance limits. I'm not exactly sure how to handle a man trying to set you on fire. It's definitely different from the usual ''man got tasered eight times until his heart gave up'' cases out there.

I have to agree - if a "known violent offender and petrol sniffer" (apparently they track people who inhale petrol fumes?) is running at police with a lighter and a petrol container, I think it's entirely reasonable that they're going to do something to disable him before he gets close. And if you're going to shoot someone, better a taser to the face than a lead slug to the face. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if a taser can start a fire, though I think you'd have to have the circumstances just right and the explanation that it was the lighter is more likely.

Sounds like a job for Mythbusters :D
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby scrovak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:26 am UTC

I seem to remember this happening on CSI. Only in CSI it was pepper spray in place of petrol...
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:27 am UTC

scrovak wrote:I seem to remember this happening on CSI. Only in CSI it was pepper spray in place of petrol...
I saw that episode! I knew I recognised this from somewhere.
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:05 am UTC

Gee, electricity that can involves sparks and gas fumes. I can only wonder what happened here? And this is the problem with Aussies, they're not terminators.

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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby scrovak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:51 am UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:
scrovak wrote:I seem to remember this happening on CSI. Only in CSI it was pepper spray in place of petrol...
I saw that episode! I knew I recognised this from somewhere.


Yeah! And wasn't it like, Nick's GF took his pepperspray, and replaced it with non-police issue stuff, which was flammable? I felt horrible as I chuckled at the man engulfed in flames...
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Omegaton » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:12 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Sounds like a job for Mythbusters :D

I was thinking the same thing. It'd be pretty easy as far as tests they've done go.

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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:32 am UTC

Incidentally, I think that very scene of CSI actually had the Mythbusters in the background, observing the test.
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby scrovak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:34 am UTC

Like actually visible extras, or behind the scenes?
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:35 am UTC

Actually visible. The camera briefly pans over to them watching :D

EDIT: This episode, apparently

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theory ... thing_(CSI)
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby scrovak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:43 am UTC

Hey, I remember them now!
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Re: Zap Zap Whump: Taser sets man on fire?

Postby justaman » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:00 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:I have to agree - if a "known violent offender and petrol sniffer" (apparently they track people who inhale petrol fumes?)

Just to clarify, petrol sniffing is a big problem amongst aboriginal communities in Australia's "Outback", as petrol is cheap (compared to most other drugs), readily available and produces a rapid intoxication. The majority of petrol sniffers live in really remote places, as outlined in the map in the link below.
http://www.nt.gov.au/health/healthdev/health_promotion/bushbook/volume2/chap1/petrol.htm
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