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Arkansas motorcyclist engulfed in 'fireball' after state police shock him with Taser

Christopher Gaylor, 38, was hospitalized and is expected to recover. No officers involved will be investigated or placed on leave, state police said.

An Arkansas motorcyclist was engulfed in a "fireball" and is recuperating in the hospital after a state trooper deployed a Taser and it hit a gallon of gasoline in his backpack, authorities said.

Christopher Gaylor, 38, was struck by the Taser after he led Arkansas troopers on a chase early Oct. 13 in Little Rock, state police said in a news release.

The chase started when Gaylor was spotted riding a motorcycle with no license plate around 1:20 a.m. along Asher Avenue in Little Rock.

A trooper tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Gaylor “refused to comply” and kept on driving, reaching speeds approaching 100 mph and ignoring traffic stop signs and lights along the way, state police said.

Authorities said police later learned that Gaylor was wanted by law enforcement on outstanding warrants, according to the release.

A man fleeing police is engulfed in flames after an officer deployed a stun gun. State investigators claim the man had a bottle of gasoline in his backpack.
A man fleeing police is engulfed in flames after an officer deployed a stun gun. State investigators claim the man had a bottle of gasoline in his backpack. Arkansas State Police

Gaylor eventually made his way toward Interstate 30 and jumped from the motorcycle at a residence along Chandler Street in North Little Rock and ran away with troopers following. 

A trooper then deployed his Taser to stop Gaylor. As the barbs of the Taser struck the suspect, “a fireball engulfed Gaylor.”

The investigation revealed that Gaylor was carrying one gallon of gasoline in his backpack, which was the accelerant that caused the fire. 

Troopers extinguished the fire and provided medical assistance as they awaited an ambulance. 

Police said Gaylor remains hospitalized and is expected to recover. 

He faces charges of felony fleeing, failure to register a vehicle, having no liability insurance, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving.

It was not immediately clear whether Gaylor had a lawyer.

State police said that no internal investigation into the police response is underway that and no employees involved in the incident have been placed on leave.

“Before the electronic control device (TASER) was deployed, Mr. Gaylor could have chosen at any moment during the vehicular pursuit, or in the seconds after he abandoned the motorcycle to comply with the traffic stop or orders to stop while on foot," Arkansas State Police public information officer Bill Sadler said.