Police oversight office investigating fire started after man hit with stun gun in Vancouver

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Investigators say a conducted energy weapon was used when the man attempted to fight with police, but the electrical charge ignited a flammable item he was carrying. File photo Dan Toulgoet/Vancouver Courier

VANCOUVER — The civilian agency that investigates police in British Columbia is examining a case in Vancouver where a man was seriously hurt when an officer’s stun gun sparked a fire.

A statement from the Independent Investigations Office says it happened on Oct. 6, in a busy pedestrian area along the downtown Vancouver waterfront.

The statement says officers responded to complaints of a man spitting at a couple and trying to touch several women.

A suspect was located and investigators say a conducted energy weapon was used when the man attempted to fight with police, but the electrical charge ignited a flammable item he was carrying.

The office says the man was treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Investigators are appealing for witnesses and say they are now working to determine what role, if any, the officers’ actions or inaction may have played in the case.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019