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Man lit on fire after getting Tasered by Vancouver police, watchdog investigating

The actions of Vancouver police officers are being investigated by B.C.'s police watchdog after a man was lit on fire during a Tasering incident on Oct. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating after a suspect was lit on fire during a confrontation with Vancouver police that involved a Taser.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) says the male suspect reportedly spat at a couple near Jack Poole Plaza around 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 6, then allegedly approached and touched “a number of women.”

Vancouver police officers then located the suspect along the Seawall near Bute Street and Cordova Street and attempted to speak with him.

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The suspect then attempted to fight the officers, prompting police to deploy a stun gun.

The IIO says the stun gun probe made contact with a “flammable concealed possession” on the man, which ignited.

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Police reported the suspect received serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital.

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The IIO has a mandate to investigate any case of serious harm or death in which police action or inaction may have played a role.

Vancouver police have not commented on the incident, and are referring all questions to the IIO.

Any witnesses or anyone who has information helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the IIO witness line at 1-855-446-8477.

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