A naked man was accidentally set on fire by police after their taser hit his cigarette lighter while he was resisting arrest.
Travis L. Tingler, 32, was arrested in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on Sunday, July 16 for allegedly standing in the street with no clothes on while also threatening people.
Police found Tingler on the 1100 block of South 25th Street near Hamilton Street, where he was reportedly threatening to kill the occupants of a house with a knife. However, when questioned by authorities, Tingler claimed he was innocent.
via USA Today:
“I told him he couldn’t be out in the middle of the street with no clothes on,” the officer said in the report. “I asked him about his condition. I noticed he had a dazed appearance, blank stare and he sweated profusely.”
The officer suspected Tingler, who said other people were messing with him and he was calling them out, was impaired by drugs. He told the officer he could be out on the street with no clothes on, and that he didn’t have a weapon.
Tingler said he wanted to go to a home on 25th Street. Police instead handcuffed him and, finding a pair of pants on the front lawn, tried to put them on Tingler. Officers later found a pocket knife on the front porch of a nearby home in the 1100 block of 25th Street, along with coins and several cigarette butts.
Police spoke to a woman in the home, who said Tingler was dating her mother. The unidentified woman said Tingler tarted drinking alcohol three hours prior and began acting weird, saying things such as “Stay in the light and never come into the dark.”
The woman say Tingler eventually threw the glass he had been drinking from into the street and took off his clothes.
Tingler refused to get into a squad car and said he wanted to see his kids. The mother came home from work, and police used stun guns to get the man into the police car.
Police reported Tingler somehow picked up a lighter during the struggle, and when the stun gun probe hit the lighter, a combination of lighter fluid and electricity from the stun gun caused Tingler’s beard and chest hair to catch fire.
An officer tried to pat the fire off his body, and Tingler continued to fight even after the fire was put out. He then punched an officer in the face. An officer used a stun gun on him from about 6 feet away, and he then fell and hit his head hard on the pavement.
After being taken to the hospital, staff said Tingler tested positive for marijuana and had a BAC of 0.177.
Authorities are recommending charges of resisting a police officer, battery to an officer, disorderly conduct, and lewd and lascivious behavior.