WORLDPOST
08/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tasered Man Bursts Into Flames In Australia

When police taser-gunned a man in an aboriginal community in Western Australia who was charging them with a can of gasoline and a lighter, he suddenly burst into flames, the BBC reports. The man, Ronald Mitchell, 36, is a known offender and his sister told The Australian that he had actually been sniffing the gasoline, the BBC notes. Police arrived at Mitchell's home in response to a complaint and are saying the immolation was spurred by the lighter/gasoline combination, as opposed to the taser. Mitchell was charged with assault, but according to the BBC, some are speaking out in his defense and against the use of taser guns:

Dennis Eggington, of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, called for an urgent review of Taser use. Aboriginal people, he said, were often in poor health, which made them particularly vulnerable to stun weapons.

A Taser works by firing two barbs which penetrate the skin and discharge 50,000 volts along two copper wires attached to the gun.

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