Officials Investigate After Man Burns To Death During Arrest
McCLAIN COUNTY, Oklahoma - Black tire tracks and charred car parts are still on the scene of 100th Street and Council Avenue in Lindsay. On Tuesday night, a man was burnt to death.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation, and the McClain County Sheriff’s Office is assisting.
Detective David Tompkins with the McClain County Sheriff’s Office said his office was called to do a welfare check of a missing man out of Norman. According to the Norman Police Department, an individual was reported missing on Tuesday. A tip led investigators to believe the person was in McClain County and suicidal.
After 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Tompkins said they called for mutual aid with the Lindsay Police Department since they were closer to the location. He said two Lindsay Police Officers got there. The only information they had was that this man was possibly armed, dangerous and suicidal.
The officers found the man parked off the road on 100th Street. It was right on the border of McClain and Garvin County.
Tompkins said, “He was sitting in his vehicle when they got there and started dousing himself with gasoline inside the vehicle.” He said the man stepped out, holding a lighter. “It appears he turned to go back into the vehicle and the Lindsay officer tased him.”
Flames ignited and the man burned to death. “He was burnt pretty bad, beyond recognition,” said Detective Tompkins.
It is unclear at this time whether the fire was started by the taser or the lighter. A gun was also found by the man.
One Lindsay officer got first and second degree burns to his hands and face. He was taken to the hospital and has since been released. Tompkins said they will interview him and several others in the next few days.
The Medical Examiner’s Office is working to identify the man. At this time, Tompkins believes it is the missing man, but is waiting for confirmation from the autopsy.