Officers and Medical Personnel

Officers and medical personnel help a man into blankets before transporting him to the hospital after he threatened to set himself on fire outside of South Park on Tuesday.

MEG OLIPHANT, Gazette Staff

Police successfully talked a 57-year-old Billings man out of setting himself on fire in his car, parked next to South Park, during a Tuesday afternoon incident that lasted about half an hour.

The man had doused himself in gasoline while sitting in his car on the 600 block of South Broadway. When police arrived, he was holding a lighter and threatening self-immolation, Police Sgt. Mitch Hart said.

An officer persuaded the man to give up the lighter, Hart said, and officers were able to pull him from the car and handcuff him on the lawn of a business across the street from the park. Firefighters then used a hose to rinse the fuel off of the man before he was loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.

He was taken to Billings Clinic for a psychological evaluation, Hart said.

Firefighters used a foam spray to neutralize the gasoline and prevent the fuel from igniting after the man was sprayed down.

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.