Man arrested after he doused police with petrol

A 51-year-old man has been arrested following an incident in Bolton where officers were doused with petrol and a property was set alight.

Shortly before 11pm on Friday 11 December 2020, officers attended an address on Market Street in Farnworth to carry out an arrest for very recent domestic violence offences .

As officers attempted to detain the suspect, he resisted arrest and threw a substance believed to be petrol over officers before dousing himself in the substance and threatening to set himself on fire.

As officers entered the property, the man continued to resist arrest and set fire to the doorway before attempting to barricade himself inside.

Trained negotiators were in attendance alongside officers from the fire and ambulance service to ensure the incident was brought to a safe conclusion.

The suspect was safely detained and arrested on suspicion of malicious communications, breach of a restraining order, arson with intent to endanger life and assault on an emergency services worker. He was taken to hospital where he was assessed for smoke inhalation and minor injuries, however has since been discharged and remains in custody. 

An officer was also taken to hospital where he received treatment from an eye specialist for suspected chemical burns. He has subsequently been discharged but requires further assessment later this week.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This was a challenging situation which highlights the dangerous conditions our officers are often faced with when carrying out their duties to protect our community and those who are in need of our help. 

“Every single day our officers are willing and prepared to do everything within their powers, including putting themselves in harm’s way, in order to protect our most vulnerable victims, including those of domestic violence.

“I would like to commend the bravery of our officers and partners in this situation who managed to safely detain the suspect despite the challenges that were thrown in their direction.

“One of our officers was taken to hospital with chemical burn injuries, and we are lucky that those injuries were not even more severe. I only hope this footage that we are sharing today can give an insight to the public of the resilience and commitment of our officers to go the extra mile to protect vulnerable members of our communities.”