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Home  >  Topics  >  Patrol Issues

January 29, 2010
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Ore. officer used pepper spray on burning man

The officer confused pepper spray for a fire extinguisher

The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland police officer accidentally used pepper spray instead of a fire extinguisher on a man who lit himself on fire downtown near a fur store Wednesday.

Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer said the officer was at a stoplight at Southwest 12th Avenue and Yamhill Street when she saw a man in flames.

When the officer went to get a fire extinguisher out of the trunk of her patrol car, she accidentally grabbed a large can of pepper spray used in riot control. Sizer said the pepper spray cans are red like a fire extinguisher.

The pepper spray was water-based, not oil-based, and nonflammable. Kim Kosmas of the Fire Bureau said the spray "didn't have any additional reaction with him already being on fire."

Read full story: Portland police officer sprays burning man with pepper spray






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