Cop Fired Taser at Man Doused in Gasoline “to stop man from harming himself” – The Plan Didn’t Work


No, the idea didn’t work at all as planned, unless the plan was to set a suicidal guy on fire, then it worked spectacularly well.

DEVON, England — A police officer testified that he fired a Taser at a man doused in gasoline and holding a lit match to stop the man from harming himself, the Guardian reports.

In April 2013, Kelvin Pimott called 911 after witnessing his 32-year-old son, Andrew, standing in their garden holding a gasoline can. Kelvin was concerned his son was going to set fire to the family’s home, because he was in defiance of a court order which banned him from the property.

When police arrived, officer Peter Hodgkinson says he was “on guard” as he headed into the garden, because police dispatch had informed him that Andrew had previously assaulted an officer.

Hodgkinson says Andrew poured the can of gasoline on himself as he stepped around the corner.

Although an attorney representing the family insists Officer Hodgkinson fired the Taser “almost instantaneously” when he saw the lit match, Hodgkinson says that wasn’t the case.

The officer says he looked around to grab his Taser and when he looked up he saw a flame. He says he tried to engage Andrew before he fired the Taser and shouted, “put it down, Taser trained officer.”

However, after carrying out a series of experiments to establish if Andrew caught fire due to the Taser or the lit match, forensic scientist Stephen Andrews testified he believed it was likely that Andrew was ignited by the Taser. “Overall my opinion is that my findings provide very strong evidence to support the view that Andrew Pimlott was set on fire by the Taser,” he said.

PC David Beer, who was with Hodgkinson, told an inquest that his immediate reaction to seeing Pimlott covered in petrol and holding a lit match was: “Fucking hell he’s going to go up.”

Beer said Hodgkinson had no option but to shoot Pimlott with the 50,000-volt Taser because of the risk he was posing to himself and others. “I was aware PC Hodgkinson had taken his Taser out and [was] shouting at the male,” he said. “I can’t recall what he was shouting but he may have said: ‘Put it down.’ I concentrated back on the male, I heard the Taser sound being activated and Mr Pimlott went up in flames.

“I froze for a minute and Mr Pimlott screams and starts coming towards us and I think to myself, ‘I’ve got to do something’.”

Beer said he shouted at Pimlott to get on the floor and wrapped a duvet around him to put out the flames. “Neighbours were providing water and we started pouring it over him and a hose was also supplied.”

The inquest continues.

  • Cripes!

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      You really can accomplish a lot through bold and decisive action and working with the tools at hand, unless plans a-c include shooting sparking electrodes at people covered in gasoline.
      I know this was England, but that guy might have been better off had the cop just shot him. With a gun. That shoots bullets.
      Sounds bad, but certainly not as bad as what actually happened.

  • Blacksmith

    I feel sorry for the cop, there was no good answer to that problem. The other guy was obviously a few bricks shy of a load.

    • Maggat

      Definitely not a couple of quarts short of a gallon.

  • WalterBannon

    if you douse yourself in gas, you deserve what ever happens

    • FactsWillOut

      It’s his fault he burned, and no-one else’s.

  • BillyHW
    • Xavier

      That was the greatest episode of WKRP ever made. When Mr. Carlson asked “What orchestra is that?” when Johnny was playing Pink Floyd’s Animals I just about spit out my beer.

  • Clink9

    He gave up cigarettes but didn’t give up smokin’.

  • andycanuck

    Mmm. Beer.

  • Xavier

    What do you mean “insensitive”?

  • Maggat

    You light up,(lit up), my life.

  • Clausewitz

    Just another case of suicide by Cop.