Witnesses recall traffic stop where fleeing driver was Tasered

Published: Feb. 8, 2015 at 3:15 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2015 at 3:16 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield Police are investigating after a pursuit ended with a man catching fire.

Officers said just before 12 a.m. Saturday, they stopped a 2012 Volkswagen sedan in the 7200 block of Jefferson Davis Highway for suspicion of DUI. As the officer approached the car, the driver sped up and fled, traveling south on Jefferson Davis Highway.

Police officers pursued and the driver lost control of the car on the bridge just north of Jefferson Davis Highway and Chester Road. The car rolled several times, trapping the driver inside. He was the only occupant of the car.

Officers and firefighters worked to free the driver from the wreckage. Once outside the car, the man struggled with officers. One officer discharged his Taser at the man in order to bring him under control, and this ignited the man's clothing, which authorities said may have come in contact with gasoline during the crash.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and transported the man to VCU Medical Center. Police haven't released his identity.

Michael Vincent and his wife arrived on the scene the within minutes after the accident happened.
"There was already fire and rescue there within seconds. They were telling dispatch that he was extinguished and he was being put into an ambulance to be transported," Vincent said. 
Kathy Moore owns Tee's & Moore located at the intersection of Chester Road and Jefferson Davis Highway. She and her friends were surprised to hear about this happening so close to her business.
"It is a lot of traffic, but you don't see a lot of pedestrians here," Moore said.
Police said they believe the suspect may have come in contact with gasoline during the crash, which in turn sparked a fire when he was Tasered. 
Meanwhile, Vincent says he applauds the fire and police officer's


"I really think she was doing what she needed to do to apprehend the subject," Vincent said.

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