Flammable liquid involved in incident

By Observer staff August 12, 2013 10:27 am

Police say arcing stun gun, liquid causes second-degree burns to victim

Police say a “stun gun” and a flammable liquid were involved in an altercation between two men in Elgin Thursday night that sent one of them to a Portland burn center.

Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the incident in Elgin around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

The initial investigation shows that Kirk R. Pickens, 45, was approached by an acquaintance, Jeffrey A. Black, 45. The men argued and then Black allegedly produced an electrical-current “stun gun” and advanced on Pickens, police say.

As the situation escalated, some volatile liquid was splashed on Black. Police say the flammable liquid ignited, possibly by the arcing of the stun gun, causing significant burns to Black’s upper body, arms and face.

A witness used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out, and Elgin Fire and Rescue and deputies responded. Black was transported by Life Flight to St. Mary’s in Walla Walla, Wash., before being transported to Legacy Emanuel Burn Center in Portland. He received second-degree burns to approximately 40 percent of his body. He is listed in critical but stable condition, said a spokesman for Legacy Emmanuel.

Pickens and others have been interviewed, according to police. No arrests have been made.

The case remains under investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police patrol and forensic divisions. Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and District Attorney Tim Thompson continue to monitor the investigation.