15 March – A man known locally as ‘Bear’, who armed himself with a chainsaw and doused himself and police in petrol before being tasered and arrested, has died in hospital.
The 51-year-old was involved in a dispute with an energy company whose employees arrived to shut down the electricity at his home on Regent St, Riverstone about 11.15am on March 8.
‘Bear’ became hostile at the thought of losing his power and took a chainsaw outside and started cutting down a power pole near his house.
Police responded to the incident and the offender threw petrol over officers and himself as they were talking to him.
Officers then used OC spray and a taser, which ignited the petrol and set him on fire, before they extinguished him at the scene.
‘Bear’ ran back into his house and refused to come out, as police set up a perimeter before he surrendered after 45 minutes of negotiations and was taken to Westmead Hospital under police guard.
He was treated at Westmead Hospital for burns and charged by police during a bedside hearing with burning or maiming using a corrosive fluid, resisting or hindering police in the execution of duty and destroying or damaging property.
He was later moved to Concord Hospital but a NSW Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed he died today.
“An offender being treated at Concord Hospital has died this morning,” the spokeswoman said.
“Police will prepare a report for the coroner who will determine the cause of death of the 51-year-old man.”
‘Bear’ was well known in Riverstone after living in the area for 15 years.
He owned at least eight rottweilers which were taken by council rangers at the time of the attack.
A police officer from Quakers Hill Local Area Command was injured during the incident.
He experienced petrol exposure to his eyes and was taken to Blacktown Hospital for treatment.