Las Cruces man throws knife at law enforcement, sets himself on fire

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - Doña Ana County Sheriff's Deputies say that a man walking along University Avenue with a gas can set himself on fire just before midnight Tuesday night.

According to officials, Gaspar Ayala-Arellano, 48, was spotted walking alone carrying a gas can in the 1300 block of University Avenue near Zia Middle School late Tuesday night. A Mesilla marshal who was driving in the area stopped to check and see if Arellano needed assistance.

The marshal reported that Arellano refused to identify himself and that's when assistance from the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department was requested.

When deputies arrived, Arellano reportedly pulled out a knife and began threatening deputies before he threw the knife at the marshal, striking her in the leg.

Arellano then took the gas can, doused himself in gasoline and used a lighter to ignite himself. Deputies were ale to put out the flames before medical units arrived.

He was transported to Memorial Medical Center where he was treated and released before DASO booked him into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

The marshal was not seriously injured in the incident.


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