why petrol sniffing and tasers dont mix…

No doubt this story will be blown up into a huge drama by the usual suspects, but its an interesting one just the same. Happened in a remote community near my home town.

a stock picture, not the man involved.

a stock picture, not the man involved.

The following is the local newspapers reporting of the incident.

Tasered man burst into flames

Warburton man caught alight after police were forced to use a Taser stun gun when he allegedly ran towards them carrying a cigarette lighter on Monday.  (He was threatening the officers with the can of petrol and the lighter if my insider source is correct.)

A police spokesman said the incident occurred when police responded to a complaint at a house in Warburton about midday. (Petrol sniffing is a problem in a number of remote communities, most people want nothing to do with those actively sniffing, they are erratic and sometimes dangerous, the coppers were called by the householder to get rid of the bloke)

The 36-year-old man ran of from the house carrying the lighter and a container, believed to have contained fuel.

Police asked the man to stop, but when he failed to do so, an officer used his taser.

The man caught alight and the officer went to his aid, smothering the fire with his bare hands. (A balls effort by the officer involved, clearly shows he wasn’t wanting to hurt the man beyond stopping him)

While the officer helped the man, it is alleged an 18-year-old female threw rocks at his head. (Sadly not unusual, this happens quite often in remote areas, an officer attends, uses force, then the bystanders turn on him, they may have even been the people who called for assistance in the first place)

The man suffered burns to his body while the officer received burns to his hands and a cut to his head requiring five stitches.

The effects on the body are severe, long term, and systemic. The effect is much like “chroming” in major cities, where kids inhale paint and other fumes.

Ive seen a few kids in Perth like this, silver instead of gold though.

Ive seen a few kids in Perth like this, silver instead of gold though.

it affects nearly the whole body.

it affects nearly the whole body.

More below the fold

Nasty, but given the coppers only other options were run, or escalate to lethal force, it is difficult to see how they should be blamed.

I predict the usual moochers in the Aboriginal industry will try and make this a “cause”, when in reality the following happened.

Police called by aboriginal person to attend

Aboriginal person requests police remove petrol sniffer

Aboriginal petrol sniffer refuses/threatens to set himself/police alight if hes not left alone.

Police continue to talk the man down

Man rushes at police holding lighter in one hand/petrol can in the other

Police taser man

either taser or lighter(most likely taser) ignites petrol fumes.

Man suffers airway burns due to presence of petrol fumes, what would have been minor burns are now life threatening

Police use bare hands to try and extinguish flames, burning own hands.

Bystanders/person who called police assault police officer.


Petrol sniffing is such a big problem that the government subsidises BP’s OPAL non-sniffable petrol on many remote communities.  It is more expensive unfortunately, but effective.



There has also been a nasty new trend appearing since the introduction of welfare funds management and dry communities  as part of the Intervention strategy.  This also comes from my inside source.

***** Police have recently become aware of a dangerous practice that is occurring in the ******** Lands whereby an alcoholic type cocktail can be made by the straining of ‘Brake Fluid’ through a loaf of bread. Preferably the bread apparently needs to be of the thick – toast type variety and the slices are stacked on top of one another. Then the brake fluid is poured onto the top slice of the bread and collected from the bottom after it has passed through the straining process. It can then be left for several days, have raisins added, left in the sun and then it is consumed by the person. Apparently the effect is similar to alcohol, however of course it is very dangerous, given the toxicity of the brake fluid.
It is our intention to speak with those person, namely store managers and roadhouse staff  that sell brake fluid and have then maintain a list of persons purchasing it. We were not actually given any names of persons suspected of obtaining brake fluid for this activity as the name of the person was not known.The person could be told that there name is recorded and if it is found later that the fluid is being used for this activity, charges may be able to be preferred under the ************* By Laws. Naturally we are not able to ban the sale of bread, or for that matter the legitimate purchase of brake fluid.


Now my grandfather was a raging alcoholic for much of his life, my mother recalls him applying a thick layer of boot polish to a few slices of bread and leaving them overnight. In the morning he’d peel off the polish and eat the bread, which was soaked in the wood spirit used in polishes.

Its impossible to stop a person committed to self destruction like that, as the above article shows, it may reduce the numbers of people affected (dramatically), but it may also have worse outcomes for truly self destructive people by pushing them more to extremes.

I don’t have an answer, anyone that does feel free to comment.

4 Responses to “why petrol sniffing and tasers dont mix…”

  1. bingbing Says:

    And folks think ‘solving’ the North Korea condrum is hard. This is equally if not more so.

    Sorry man. No answer. It appears there’s nothing more anyone can do. It’s up to the said affected themselves.

  2. Carpe Jugulum Says:

    bingbing, therin lies the problem, you have a group of people who have no desire to change their behavior, no real work of any value to do, a welfare mentality, a mentality of entitlement without effort…………..no i don’t have an answer either.

    I do have a burning desire to put my boot up their arse to get them to wake up to themselves…..but i don’t do futile gestures…..what a waste when you consider what an individual can achieve……..bugger, now i’m p1ssed off.

  3. Angus Dei Says:

    I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I read this story. The mental image of a gasoline huffer rushing some cops and bursting into flames when tazed was just too much. In fact, I’m starting to laugh all over again.

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