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Man Lit Himself On Fire On The Westside Last Night
A man attempted to end his life last night by setting himself on fire at a gas station in the Pico-Robertson area. Officers responded and arrived at a gas station at the corner of Robertson Boulevard and Cashio Street at about 9 p.m. last night, L.A. Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphries told LAist. Police say that the 22-year-old man first doused himself with gasoline from the gas station, then set himself ablaze. When police tried to extinguish him, the man resisted and tried to get officers to shoot him.
Travis Richey, a local actor who moonlights as an Uber driver, told LAist he saw the incident happen. He said he had just picked up a passenger a few blocks east on Cashio and was turning right onto Robertson when he saw a flash of light to his left.
"I completed the turn and looked in my rearview mirror and saw a ball of flame in the middle of the northbound lane, and said, 'Oh my God, what is that? Is that a person?'" Richey said.
Richey's passenger saw it, too, so he said he made a U-turn and pulled over. The passenger pulled out her phone and called 9-1-1 as Richey tried to grab water bottles out of his car.
"I could hear the guy screaming," Richey said. "By the time I had a handful of bottles, a police car had already pulled up in the middle of the street, heading north, and the two officers had fire extinguishers that they tried to douse the flames with. But the guy, who had been on his knees, got up and ran away from them!"
Officers were eventually able to extinguish the man, and firefighters transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. While the man survived the initial incident, there is no further information as to what his condition is now. The man was described as a 22-year-old Asian male who suffers from mental illness.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.