Christopher Gaylor, 38, was reportedly told to pull over by an Arkansas state trooper for not having a licence plate on his motorcycle in the early morning hours of October 13 in the state capital of Little Rock.
But Mr Gaylor allegedly declined to pull over, and instead sped away from the officer at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. Police pursued him, eventually catching up to him. KHBS in Fort Smith reported that Mr Gaylor then jumped off his motorcycle and attempted to continue his flight on foot, when an officer tasered him.
Police in Arkansas chase a suspect who, it turns out, had a can of gasoline in his backpack. When an officer uses a taser on him, bad things result. pic.twitter.com/rrKNjpZEZo
— Mike (@Doranimated) October 21, 2022
That led to an explosion, reportedly caused by the contact between the taser and the gasoline in his backpack. The officers put the fire out, but not before Mr Gaylor was injured.
Mr Gaylor is still recovering from the incident nearly two weeks later and is facing a litany of criminal charges including felony fleeing, reckless driving, failure to register a vehicle, no liability insurance, driving with a suspended licence.
Some on social media took the incident as evidence that tasers pose a major threat to the health and safety of the general public. That Mr Gaylor’s injuries came in the aftermath of a traffic stop may also be notable. Police have killed more than 600 people in the US during traffic stops since 2017, with reform advocates calling for police to play less of a role or no role at all in traffic law enforcement.