THE WORLDPOST
04/03/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Australian Man Catches Fire After Being Tasered By Police

A man in Perth, Australia who had doused a house in petrol and was threatening to set it alight was himself set on fire when police shot him with a taser gun.

The 44-year-old man had been having an argument with his sons when the police arrived to try and calm the disturbance. Instead the man grabbed a can of petrol and doused one of the officers.

The man had also spread petrol around the house and was planning to go to the kitchen to get matches when the officers used the taser, according to police reports.

The taser caused the man to catch alight, and the man suffered burns to 20 percent of his body.

He is now in hospital in a stable condition.

According to the police report, Australian police are not allowed to use tasers around flammable liquids, unless directly threatened:

"Under WAPOL's Taser procedures officers are reminded not to use the devices in the near vicinity of flammable liquids or fumes. However, this has to be considered in the context of the threat being faced by the police officers."

Superintendent Nigel White told Australia's ABC News "It all depends on the time, place and circumstance... This is a use of force option and the officers at the time used the force that they believed was necessary to make this happen."