Mandan News

Man sets himself on fire

By Hannah Johnson
Lee News

A Mandan man set himself on fire at a Dickinson gas station Monday afternoon.

The 33-year-old man believed police were targeting him, said Dickinson Police Capt. Dave Wilkie. He tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.

The man told police that men in chemical suits had sprayed him with chemicals and he thought his skin was burning.

He poured gasoline on himself — ostensibly to try to rid himself of the chemicals, Wilkie said. He then lit up a cigarette and ended up setting himself on fire.

Security video shows the man on fire, running through the bay area where DJ’s Amoco dries cars and into the actual car wash. When he exits the car wash, he is no longer on fire, Wilkie said.

Another gas station customor saw the man attempt to open different cars until finding one with the keys inside and getting in and driving away.

That customer then called the police. Wilkie said the man was driving erratically through town — up to 80 mph — before he ditched the car on the 600 block of 1st Avenue West and entered a local residence.

The homeowner was home at the time and notified police. Officers arrived to find him in the basement with second- and third-degree burns, Wilkie said.

He was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital and eventually flown to Regions Burn Center in St. Paul, Minn. No update on his condition was available as of Tuesday evening.

He will not be charged until he has recovered sufficiently, but is facing several charges including ingestion of a controlled substance, theft of property, criminal trespass and reckless driving, Wilkie said.