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Dunedin man sets himself on fire

20:59 Tue Mar 6 2012
AAP
A member of the public used his bare hands to put out flames coming from a man's jacket after he set his clothing alight (Thinkstock)
A member of the public used his bare hands to put out flames coming from a man's jacket after he set his clothing alight (Thinkstock)

A man has set himself alight and then assaulted a police officer on a busy street in central Dunedin.

The 42-year-old Dunedin man used a cigarette lighter to set his jacket alight on George St about 5.30pm on Tuesday as workers made their way home and shops began to close.

Senior Sergeant Kelvin Lloyd told NZ Newswire police received a number of calls from witnesses.

He praised the efforts of a member of the public who stopped to help the man, receiving minor injuries when he used his bare hands to extinguish the flames.

Snr Sgt Lloyd says the first officer at the scene was kicked and punched as he tried to detain the man.

The man was taken to Dunedin Hospital and treated for blisters and burns to his hands. He is being assessed by the psychiatric service.

No charges are likely to be laid.