Photo: New York State Attorney General / Cortesía
The New York State Attorney General released yesterday the dramatic footage of the moment when Jason Jones burned himself inside a police station in Catskill, dying six weeks later.
Caution is advised when watching the video. Jones, a 29-year-old man, succumbed to his injuries on December 15 at a Syracuse hospital when he was removed from a ventilator that was keeping him alive after spending nearly six weeks in an induced coma, following a confusing confrontation with police in a police station 129 miles north of Manhattan.
Being apparently intoxicated and scantily clad, Jones entered a police station from Catskill Village on October 30 and confronted officers, who deployed a Taser pistol to subdue him, but as he had just sprayed himself with hand sanitizer he burst into flames.
Haunting video shows members of the Catskill Police Department on the run, leaving the man as he desperately tries to put out the flames that engulf his upper body and head.
The NY Attorney General’s Office is investigating the case, as happens when a civilian is killed in a police incident. The video shows Jones visibly shaken, taking off his shoes and various pieces of clothing.
A little over 10 minutes later Jones is seen spraying his bare torso and hair with flammable hand sanitizer from a large pump bottle that was on a table. In a matter of seconds three officers advance towards him. One of them pulls out his Taser and shoots Jones, who bursts into flames.
Police Chief Dave Darling said in October that officers were familiar with Jones from previous encounters. “I think they were afraid that he would hurt himself, and that’s what started it … There are still details that we are trying to develop.” He described what happened as “horrible” and claimed that his officers are not equipped with body cameras, but that he had video records at the police station.