Sunday, October 23, 2005

Taser Fire

From the Raleigh News & Observer

FAYETTEVILLE -- A man covered with gasoline suffered burns over 70 percent of his body when a deputy shot him with a Taser gun, Cumberland County officials said.

Richard Nuejean McKinnon, 52, of St. Pauls was in critical condition Thursday after the shooting, which occurred after a chase with police late Wednesday night, said Debbie Tanna, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

The chase began when sheriff's Cpl. Bradley Dean noticed a van that was missing a taillight. Dean stopped the van, but it then drove off, Tanna said. Dean, who was patrolling an area where several thefts had occurred at construction sites, also noticed that the van was sitting low to the ground.

At some point, a fuel container in the van came open and sprayed throughout the vehicle, Tanna said.

The pursuit ended when the driver drove his van into a yard and hit a mailbox, she said.

The driver crawled from a window, and Dean drew his gun but put it away when he realized the suspect wasn't armed, Tanna said. Instead, Dean shot suspect with the Taser when he refused orders to stop, she said.

The suspect's shirt caught fire, and Dean threw him to the ground, Tanna said. The fire was extinguished when the men rolled into a creek.


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