Video shows man set Seattle patrol car on fire with torch while officer was inside

Video from a Seattle police car’s dash camera released Friday shows a suspect run toward a patrol car and throw a burning piece of wood into the vehicle while the officer was inside.

The Seattle Police Department released the video a day after the incident occurred on Oct. 15. A man, identified by police as Brian Leil, 37, of Seattle, is seen on video running toward Officer Caleb Pomazon’s patrol car.

Leil reportedly swung a hammer at a man in Denny Park multiple times before the incident, according to documents from King County Superior Court and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Multiple people piled on top of Leil and got the hammer away from him before he took off, the documents say.

Pomazon then responded to reports of a man, identified as Leil, walking around with a long piece of wood that was set on fire at one end, according to the documents.

The officer tried to get out of the car and yelled for Leil to stop, but Leil refused to listen to the commands. Once Leil saw the officer following him, he turned around and started running toward the officer, according to documents.

Leil ran at the car with the torch and thrust it into the car with Pomazon inside, hitting him in the thigh, court documents say. Leil then turned and bolted from the area, officials said.

The officer fired several shots at Leil, but Leil wasn’t hit, according to court documents.

The officer had to climb out of the passenger side to escape the car before it became fully engulfed. The patrol car was a total loss, costing the city $70,000, documents state.

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Pomazon chased Leil into a nearby parking garage with the help of other officers, according to the documents. Leil ignored their commands to get on the ground, and they used a Taser on him to bring him into custody, documents state.

Leil “stated multiple (times) his intention to die at the hands of officers,” the documents say.

The officer was treated at Harborview Medical Center for the burns on his leg.

Leil is charged with first- and second-degree assault.

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