Can a man who has been Tasered by police catch fire?

San Angelo police are trying to figure out just what happened after a man literally caught fire after being Tasered by San Angelo police.

The San Angelo Standard Times reported that Juan Flores Lopez, a 47 year old San Angelo resident died from his injuries on Tuesday after Lopez was involved in a confrontation with police on Monday. Police said they used pepper spray to try and subdue Lopez; who police say had a small lighter and a can of gas in his hand at one point during the altercation.

According to 2 of Lopez’s sons, their father had threatened to burn his home and himself in the past. They also said Lopez had a history of mental illness.

According to reports, the Texas Rangers have gotten involved in the investigation and are trying to find out just what happened. They also were trying to ascertain whether a taser shock can cause something or the intended target to ignite and whether the lighter held by Lopez played any role in Lopez igniting.

The use of Tasers by law enforcement has become more and more controversial. In Lubbock alone, three instances of Taser use by officers with the Lubbock Police Department have resulted in one man’s death and 3 lawsuits filed against the city.

In April 2006, Juan Manuel Nunez died after being Tasered by a Lubbock police officer. Until recently Nunez’s lawsuit named the Taser manufacturer as a defendant; but this past week the manufacturer was dropped from the lawsuit. El Editor was unable to verify why the Nunez family decided to drop the Taser manufacturer from the lawsuit.