Man arrested after a Seattle police car is set on fire with an officer inside


A man is in custody after he allegedly threw a flaming piece of wood into a police car while an officer was inside, according to police in Seattle.

Authorities say the officer was looking for a suspect reportedly carrying a burning piece of wood in the South Lake Union neighborhood. 

When the officer confronted him, the suspect allegedly threw the burning wood into the police car while the officer was still inside and fled on foot. Other officers chased him into a parking garage, where they tased him and took him into custody, police said.

“He lunged in, he ran, and the driver’s seat was already in flames. I thought the officer was still in the car, the driver’s seat was on fire and then within minutes the car was engulfed in flames,” a witness said told CNN affiliate KIRO.

As officers were arresting the suspect, the flames from the burning wood engulfed the patrol vehicle, police said.

“All of a sudden the car blows, catches on fire. We’re like, ‘Oh snap.’ And then flames just started getting bigger and bigger,” another witness told KIRO.

Seattle police say one officer was taken to the hospital. Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette told KIRO his injuries were minor, “some minor burn wounds.”

Neither the suspect nor the injured officer have been identified.

Aerial video from KIRO shows the police car gutted by the fire, with scorched paint and some external plastic components melted on the roof. The partially burned piece of wood is also visible hanging from the front driver’s side door.

One of the officers is believed to have discharged a firearm during the incident, but the suspect was not hit.

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