A Seattle police officer sitting in a patrol vehicle suffered minor burns after a man allegedly set the vehicle on fire Thursday afternoon near Denny Park, police said.

Police responded to the South Lake Union park just before 2 p.m. after receiving calls that a man was walking around with a piece of burning lumber, said Seattle police spokesperson Detective Patrick Michaud.

“The guy walks up to the police car (and) either puts the flaming stick into the patrol car or breaks a window and puts it in,” Michaud said. The patrol vehicle, which was parked in an alleyway off John Street, became engulfed in flames.

The officer inside the vehicle shot at the man but didn’t hit him, Michaud said, and the suspect fled on foot.

Officers chased the man into a nearby parking garage, where they hit him with a stun gun and took him into custody.

The man was arrested on investigation of assault and possibly arson, Michaud said.


The officer suffered minor injuries to his leg and both hands, said Acting Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette. Police did not give the name of the officer.

Jazmin Sanders, 28, who lives in a tent in Denny Park, said she saw the incident unfold across the street.

She was inside her tent with her boyfriend when she heard some people fighting outside, then multiple gunshots go off, she said. When she came outside, she saw the police vehicle on fire.

“Then the cop car started to burn even more, and I thought, ‘That might actually blow up,’ ” Sanders said. The fire department arrived shortly after, she said.

No further details were immediately available.