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N.Y. officers who deployed TASER on man who then caught fire will not be charged

Jason Jones, who doused himself with hand sanitizer and caught on fire after being TASERed, died in 2021 from his injuries

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By Joanna Putman

CATSKILL, N.Y. — New York officers will not be charged in the case of a man who died from catching fire when officers used a TASER on him after he doused himself with hand sanitizer, the Associated Press reported.

Jason Jones, 29, was taken off life support in December 2021 after having spent six weeks in intensive care, according to the report.

The incident happened in October 2021 when police escorted Jones out of a bar for unruly behavior. After he left the bar, he ran into the police station and began acting erratically. He hit and kicked doors and windows, knocked a table over and removed articles of clothing.

Jones then covered his upper body and head with hand sanitizer. When he continued his unruly behavior, an officer deployed a TASER, which caused him to catch fire. His upper body was engulfed in flames for about 25 seconds, according to the report.

After officers ran into the lobby to find a fire extinguisher, Jones put the flames out himself. He was transported to a hospital.

The court ruled that a prosecutor would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers committed crimes, according to a press release from N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

“Officers attempted to subdue Mr. Jones with a device that is not usually lethal to take him to a hospital, believing he was a danger to himself or others,” James’ office said in a statement. “The investigation showed that their training did not warn them against using a TASER around hand sanitizer.”