A man suspected of drunk driving was in critical condition Sunday after his clothes caught fire while being shot by a Taser, police in Chesterfield, Virginia, said.
WTVR News reports the incident happened around midnight, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“An officer stopped a 2012 Volkswagen sedan in the 7200 block of Jefferson Davis Highway for suspicion of DUI,” read an email to the news channel from a Chesterfield Police spokesman. “As the officer approached, the driver accelerated and fled.”
Police pursued the driver who eventually lost control and rolled his car several times, trapping him inside.
Police and firefighters eventually freed the man but, once free, he reportedly became combative. An officer then fired a Taser at the man in order to subdue him.
“One officer discharged his TASER at the man in order to bring him under control and this ignited the man’s clothing, which may have come in contact with gasoline during the crash,” Chesterfield Police said.
Witnesses at the scene told WWBT News the man was quickly extinguished, loaded into an ambulance and hauled away.
“There was already fire and rescue there within seconds. They were telling dispatch that he was extinguished and he was being put into an ambulance to be transported,” said Michael Vincent, who arrived shortly after the accident occurred.
Vincent said it was a female officer who fired the Taser.
“I really think she was doing what she needed to do to apprehend the subject,” he added.
The man, who was alone in the car, was taken to nearby Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center for treatment. He also reportedly sustained injuries in the car accident. His name has not been released.
The highway where the accident occurred was closed until 7:30 a.m. Sunday while police investigated the incident.