Taser Sets Man On Fire Outside Philadelphia Steak Restaurant

Simon Veazey
By Simon Veazey
February 4, 2019US News

A man’s legs caught fire as he was tased outside a Philadelphia steak house after being removed by security.

The moment was caught on video by a bystander outside Jim’s Steaks on Feb. 1.

According to the bystander, Pat Tackney, who uploaded the video to social media, the man had refused to leave the establishment and was removed by security.

“So I witnessed a man catch fire after being tased last night…” Tackney wrote on Twitter, alongside the video.

The two security guards from the restaurant can be seen grappling with the man, who is on the ground. As he gets up, one of them fires a Taser-style device as the other steps in front of the camera.

NTD Photo
Security grapple with the man on Feb.1 outside the Philadelphia steak house. (Storyful/Pat Tackney)

After he falls to the ground in the middle the road, the man’s pants catch fire for a few seconds. He rolls on the ground, shouting, and brushing at his pants with his hands, to put the flames out.

The incident was also caught on the steakhouse’s security cameras, according to the restaurant president, Ken Silver.

NTD Photo
A man rolls on the ground with flames on his pants after being tased on Feb. 1 outside a Steak Restaurant in Philadelphia. (Storyful/Pat Tackney)

“We are currently reviewing the after-store-hours incident that occurred outside of Jim’s South St. early morning on Feb. 2, 2019,” he said in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We are and will continue to cooperate fully with the Philadelphia Police Department as needed,” said Silver. “We take the safety of our customers and employees very seriously and work dutifully to safeguard their well-being. In doing so we will continue [to] operate with the highest standards as a local merchant, employer and neighbor.”

‘A Very Rare Event’

Taser-style devices have set fire to their targets before—but it is a rare occurrence, say the manufacturers.

Only 15 people have caught fire being shot with a Taser, according to a report in 2017 by the company that manufactures Tasers, Axon. Five of those people died.

“We’ve seen it happen,” Axon spokesman Steve Tuttle said according to AP. “It’s happened about 15 times in 24 years … out of about 3.5 million field uses” of the device, known as a conducted electrical weapon, or CEW.

“It’s a known situation. Thankfully it’s been a very rare event,” he said.

A two-shot Taser can strike multiple targets, as these officers learned the hard way. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A two-shot Taser can strike multiple targets, as these officers learned the hard way. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“Do not knowingly use a CEW in the presence of any explosive or flammable substance unless the situation justifies the increased risk,” the company’s website states.

According to Axon, a study of field cases showed that only one in 400 Taser uses by law enforcement resulted in serious injury.

Deadly Force Defence

The Axon report in Nov. 2017 came shortly after an Oklahoma man caught fire and died after he was tased. He had allegedly doused himself in gasoline.

Although law enforcement and security are warned of the dangers of using a Taser-style device near flammable materials, they may have a legal defense if they are using the Taser as a deadly force weapon to protect their own life.

For example, in June 2007 Juan Flores Lopez was burned to death when he was tased by a Texas law enforcement officer.

Officers were investigating reports of a man pouting gasoline round a house in San Angelo. Shortly after they arrived at the address, Lopez drove up in a car, then started pouring gasoline over his head and shoulders, reportedly with a lighter in his hand.

When Lopez started throwing gasoline at one of the officers, and pepper spray had no effect, two officers drew their Tasers.

Later investigations revealed that one of the officer’s Tasers had sparked the fire that engulfed Lopez.

Lopez died the following day from his burns, but the death was judged accidental, with the jury acquitting the police officer who fired the fatal darts, accepting the argument that he was protecting his life and that of other officers.

From The Epoch Times

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