“The explosion and fire that followed the pursuit of a wrong-way driver near Buckman Springs may have been caused by a spark from a Border Patrol officer’s Taser,” officer.com reports. “Multiple sources [say] the car driven by 24-year-old Alex Martin of Texas ignited moments after the officer deployed his Taser. Martin was burned beyond recognition in the inferno that followed. The officer was hospitalized with burns on his face.” C’mon. Really? “‘The possibility is there, but it has to be what we call ‘the perfect storm’: the perfect fuel-to-air-to-spark ratio,’ said Keiko Arroyo, who is the chief instructor at Absolute Tactical Training in University Heights. ‘It would have to be the right amount of gas and fume mixture in the air to set it off. It’s possible, but probably not probable.'” Probably.

18 Responses to Less Lethal TASER May Have Sparked Auto Inferno

  1. The old formulation of Freeze +p WILL catch fire if deployed with a Taser. Seeing that OC/CS spray can ignite from a Taser, I can definitely see gasoline vapors (which are considerably more combustible) being near guaranteed ignition.

  2. Hope the officer recovers with minimal permanent damage.
    Don’t much care about what caused the fire, Martin took has chances and lost
    “The explosion and fire that followed the pursuit of a wrong-way driver near Buckman Springs may have been caused by a spark from a Border Patrol officer’s Taser,”
    Taser a driver in a moving vehicle ?
    Would like to read the rest of that story.
    I drove through either the west bound check point on a 4 lane divided I-8 or 2 lane Old Highway 8 access road daily for 8 months in the PM.
    East bound at that location are warning signs for to look for wrong way drivers and lighting.
    I was always on the lookout for guys like Martin who didn’t care that he endangered other drivers in his attempt to avoid the check points.
    Guessing it happened on the access road, 50 yard +/- wide steep shrub covered slope between east and west bound lanes on I-8

  3. And you know what would have likely happened if the cops didn’t have a teaser? The man would have been shot and bullets, which are on average much less forgiving.

    • The driver is dead. He’s a crispy critter. I can’t imagine anything “less forgiving” than that.

  4. My thoughts reading it were pretty much what the trainer summed up near the end. An unfortunate and unlikely occurrence. While I do think Tazers are deployed far too often, I don’t see combustion probability as a major argument against their use.

  5. I believe the preferred (by TASER’s lawyers) term is “less lethal” not “less than lethal”

    Although “less lethal” is kind of like being sort of pregnant.

    • TASERs have proven again and again to be less lethal. That’s why it is such a big problem that they are replacing the nightstick as a compliance tool. Now cops are so afraid of brutality complaints that they heavily rely on the TASER to the general public’s detriment. TASERs should only be employed if lethal force is appropriate.

      • Despite the media fanfare of how many suspects die after “taser use,” there are plenty of suspects that die after “non-taser apprehensions.” There is no way for any officer or deputy to know if a suspect ingested any controlled substance or have knowledge of that person’s prior medical history. I can tell you that until a suspect is near unconsciousness, he/she will probably not tell you or the jail staff that they have ingested perhaps 20 rocks just avoid getting charged for them.

        Taser’s are also not the end all less lethal device either. I have seen the X26 fail on more than one occasion. Thanks to drive-by media, batons typically look more brutal than they actually are and leave nice bruises no matter where you strike someone. Chemical spray may not even be an option depending on environmental factors. Additionally, deployment of chemical spray means you will have secondary exposure when contacting the suspect. As a result, Tasers have gained tremendous popularity due to the ability to instantly remove force along with reduced risk of incapacitating the end user.

        As your opinion is fairly common among non-LEO; you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  6. Wow interesting story! would love to hear how it all came about. Maybe he was driving a mobile meth lab, I mean it could happen!
    Tasers are here to stay. They work and work well a vast majority of the time. It is an option, one option, and it works.
    There will be cases, albeit rare and this is one of them. It stinks that he died, but if he would have stopped and obeyed all commands we wouldn’t be having this dicusion now would we.

    • Probably if he had obeyed the officer this would not have occurred yet that assumes the officer didn’t taser him for sport.

      • The officer was also injured. I imagine that the cop was as shocked as the driver when the car went pfloosh.

        This is some seriously weird sh!t for which nobody can blame the officer.

  7. Fuel + oxidizer + spark = Fire!

    Take out any one and no fire. Tazer made the spark. O2 is all around. Cars run on petrol.

    I’m actually suprized that this hasn’t happened before.

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