Police subdue naked man, accidentally light him on fire

MANITOWOC, Wis. — Police officers arrested a 32-year-old Manitowoc man Sunday evening for standing in the street without any clothes on.

Officers found Travis L. Tingler in the 1100 block of South 25th Street near Hamilton Street, where he was shouting toward a home at the intersection that he had a knife and was going to gut people in the house.

Tingler told officers he wasn’t doing anything wrong, according to a Manitowoc Police Department report.

“I told him he couldn’t be out in the middle of the street with no clothes on,” the officer said in the report. “I asked him about his condition. I noticed he had a dazed appearance, blank stare and he sweated profusely.”

The officer suspected Tingler, who said other people were messing with him and he was calling them out, was impaired by drugs. He told the officer he could be out on the street with no clothes on, and that he didn’t have a weapon.

Tingler said he wanted to go to a home on 25th Street. Police instead handcuffed him and, finding a pair of pants on the front lawn, tried to put them on Tingler.

Officers later found a pocket knife on the front porch of a nearby home in the 1100 block of 25th Street, along with coins and several cigarette butts.

Police talked to a girl, who was holding a baby, in the home. She said Tingler was dating her mother and they had lived in the home for about two years. She said he started drinking alcohol three hours earlier and started to act weird, making comments such as “Stay in the light and never come into the dark.”

He threw the glass he had been drinking from into the street, breaking it, and took off his clothes and threw them onto the front porch, the girl told police.

Police reported Tingler somehow picked up a lighter during the struggle, and when the stun gun probe hit the lighter, a combination of lighter fluid and electricity from the stun gun caused Tingler’s beard and chest hair to catch fire.

An officer tried to pat the fire off his body, and Tingler continued to fight even after the fire was put out. He then punched an officer in the face. An officer used a stun gun on him from about 6 feet away, and he then fell and hit his head hard on the pavement.

Officers called an ambulance. Hospital staff said Tingler tested positive for marijuana and had a blood-alcohol count of 0.177.

Police are recommending charges of resisting a police officer, battery to an officer, disorderly conduct, and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Follow Patti Zarling on Twitter: @PGPattiZarling

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