Bayview Station Officers Confront Man with Molotov Cocktail (17-117)

On August 6, 2017, at approximately 9:40PM, officers from Bayview Station responded to the 2100 block of Jennings Street regarding a male subject making threats to use a gasoline bomb, or, “Molotov cocktail.” While en route, the officers were advised that the subject was reportedly also in possession of a pipe bomb.

Upon arrival, the officers made contact with the man, a 30 year-old San Francisco resident. The subject spoke briefly with the officers, but then walked away refusing to speak further to them. One of the officers noted a clear bottle containing an unknown liquid in the subject’s rear pocket. The subject removed the bottle from his pocket, poured the contents over himself and began walking towards the officers. At approximately 90 feet away, he uttered remarks about officers not turning their backs on him and referenced police shootings. As the subject approached within 50 feet of the officers, he produced a cigarette lighter and set himself on fire. As the fire spread and engulfed his upper body, the man advanced on several officers at a fast pace, closing the distance.

The officers acted quickly to create time and distance as the subject moved towards them. After approximately ten seconds, the subject stopped and began to strip off his clothing. As backup officers arrived, the subject was handcuffed and taken into custody. San Francisco Fire Department medics arrived and provided treatment to the subject.

“Despite the imminent danger posed by the fire and the possibility of an explosive device, these officers followed their training to create time and distance to help keep the situation from escalating further,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. “Our members are committed to keeping our City safe by using smart strategies and tactics that prioritize the protection of human lives.”

During the course of a preliminary investigation, officers learned that prior to their arrival, the subject had chased a female victim who ran into a premise on the 2100 block of Jennings Street. At the time, the subject was holding something in his hand and had threatened to light it and to set her on fire.

The subject was transported to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. Upon release from the hospital, he is expected to be charged with aggravated assault and possession of an incendiary device.