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

A man is in custody after he allegedly threw a flaming piece of wood into a Seattle police SUV while an officer was inside, authorities said. The officer was able to escape the vehicle and his injuries were described as minor.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 8:21 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 8:21 AM

A man is in custody after he allegedly threw a flaming piece of wood into a Seattle police SUV while an officer was inside, authorities said Friday.

The officer was looking for a suspect reportedly carrying an item on fire in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

Video released Friday afternoon shows a man walking down an alley when Officer Caleb Pomazon yells at him to stop. The man utters a profanity and keeps going. The officer drives toward the man, who turns around when the officer tells him again to stop, video from the dashboard mounted camera shows.

The man sprints toward the SUV with a burning object and body camera video shows flames inside the vehicle. The officer, who has been with the department for one year, fires multiple shots. Bullet holes can be seen in the windshield.

Police said earlier the man ran away but was chased by other officers into a parking garage, tased and taken into custody. He has not been identified and police said he was not hit by gunfire.

"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 told CNN affiliate KIRO.

Surveillance video shows the officer falling out a right side door and moving away from the smoking vehicle.

"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.

Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette told KIRO the officer had "some minor burn wounds." He is on paid administrative leave.

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 driver's door.

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