An Arkansas man is in the hospital – but expected to recover – after he was engulfed by a fireball when he was tased by state police while wearing a backpack with a gallon of gasoline inside, according to a news release from Arkansas State Police.
Around 1:18 a.m. on October 13, an Arkansas state trooper tried to stop a motorcycle in Little Rock that had no visible license plate, the release said.
The rider, identified by state police as Christopher Gaylor, 38, drove off at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour, “ignored multiple traffic stop signs and traffic lights as he worked his way toward Interstate 30 where a second state trooper encountered the motorcyclist,” the news release claimed.
He got off the freeway and later jumped from the motorcycle in a residential area and ran, according to the release.
The motorcyclist is seen on fire after being tased by a Arkansas State Police trooper on October 13, 2022.Arkansas State Police via KHBS
One trooper deployed a taser in an attempt to apprehend the suspect, and state police say as the barbs of the taser struck Gaylor, a fireball engulfed him.
Police dash cam video provided to CNN affiliate KHBS by Arkansas State Police shows troopers screaming “he’s on fire,” and then using a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. According to the statement from state police, the officers provided medical assistance while an ambulance was called to the scene.
“An investigation has since revealed Gaylor was carrying approximately 1 gallon of gasoline in a backpack,” according to the state police statement.
Gaylor remains hospitalized in good condition and is expected to recuperate, police said.
“He faces charges of felony fleeing, failure to register a vehicle, no liability insurance, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving,” according to the state police statement.
No Arkansas State Police personnel are under investigation related to the incident, nor has anyone been placed on administrative leave or disciplined, state spokesperson Bill Sadler told CNN.
Arkansas state police say Gaylor, after abandoning the motorcycle to flee, allegedly never stated he was carrying accelerant in his backpack, nor was there a placard on the exterior of the backpack indicating it contained accelerant.
CNN has made attempts to reach Gaylor. It was unclear Wednesday whether he has retained an attorney.
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