Minneapolis, MN – Two Twin Cities Metro Transit police officers have been placed on leave after an alleged attempted rapist they arrested set himself on fire in the back of their patrol vehicle on Sunday.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. on May 13 near the light rail station by the U.S. Bank Stadium, KNOW reported.
Emergency dispatch radio traffic indicated that the officers located the unnamed 31-year-old suspect after they received a report that a woman was being assaulted on the light-rail platform, according to the Star Tribune.
Police described the alleged assault on the 34-year-old woman as a stranger attack.
The suspect, who has only one arm, was placed in the back of the officers’ patrol vehicle, where he proceeded to set himself on fire with a cigarette lighter, police said.
“The patient lit his clothes on fire with a lighter while in back of the police car,” according to a Minneapolis Fire Department report.
One of the officers suffered minor burns to his hand when he reached into the vehicle to pull the suspect out.
The suspect was rushed to Hennepin Healthcare with burns on his torso.
According to department policy, officers are required to “remove all weapons, dangerous items and contraband” when they take a person into custody, the Star Tribune reported.
Cigarette lighters are one of those items which are supposed to be removed at the time of arrest.
The officers involved in the arrest were placed on standard administrative leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates the incident, KNOW reported.