6 Mar 2012

Passerby praised after man tries to set himself alight

10:43 pm on 6 March 2012

Dunedin police are praising a passerby who stopped a man from igniting his own clothing in the central city.

A 42-year-old man set fire to his jacket on the corner of George Street and Moray Place near The Octagon about 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Senior Sergeant Kelvin Lloyd says a man was able to put out the flames with the help of a detective also in the street.

Mr Lloyd says none of the people trying to extinguish the flames knew if the man had an accelerant and the situation could have been much worse.

The 42-year-old then kicked and punched the detective, but was restrained by other officers who had quickly arrived at the scene.

The passerby was treated at Dunedin Hospital for burns to his hands, as was the 42-year-old who is being assessed by psychiatric services.