After dousing himself with rubbing alcohol, a 26-year-old man then set himself on fire inside a Newton County grocery store Tuesday afternoon, according to police. But investigators aren’t sure why.
The man, identified as Timothy Singleton, of Monroe, was seen running through the Kroger on U.S. 278 shortly before 5 p.m. and knocking items off shelves, Capt. Ken Malcom with Covington police said.
“His demeanor and his activity in the store immediately alerted individuals to call 911,” Malcom told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday.
Officers arrived at the store within seconds and pursued Singleton, but could not deploy Tasers because he was dousing himself with rubbing alcohol, Malcom said.
“The officers were able to wrestle him to the ground and attempted to pull the lighter away from him,” Malcom said.
But Singleton was able to use the lighter to set himself on fire and attempted to ignite the officers, according to police. A Kroger employee used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames before major damage was done to the store.
Three officers were burned, but their injuries were not serious, Malcom said. One officer was treated at Newton Medical Center and released, and the other two were treated at the scene.
“The injuries were minor, but could have been a lot worse,” Malcom said.
Singleton sustained second-degree burns, mostly over his upper body, and was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, Malcom said. Singleton will face numerous charges, including aggravated assault against police officers.