A man has been taken to hospital after dousing himself in petrol at Mona Vale.
Shortly before 12.45pm this afternoon (Friday, 12 January), emergency services responded to a report of a man dousing himself in fuel at the BP service station at Pittwater Road, Mona Vale, near Vineyard Street.
A witness who pulled in to refuel just as the incident was unfolding told the Northern Beaches Advocate she saw three police officers on scene, two of whom approached the man, the other rushing inside, presumably to have the station attendant cut fuel to the pumps.
The witness said the officers rushed at the man, grabbing a container from him and restraining him. They then called for people who were in the middle of refuelling their vehicle to immediately get away from the area, and also instructed the witness to leave, which she did.
It has been confirmed the 33-year-old man was holding a lighter and had doused himself in up to two litres of E10 petrol when he was restrained by officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command. The witness stated that she thought the actions of the officers were ‘very brave’.
The man was detained near the southern entry to the service station, and was described as ‘agitated’. As further emergency services arrived, including NSW Ambulance and Fire and Rescue NSW Mona Vale Station, access to the service station was cordoned off by police.
With the man no longer able to harm himself or others, he was assessed by Intensive Care Paramedics and was stripped down to remove his fuel soaked clothing and washed down by firefighters to decontaminate his body.
While this occurred, it is understood the man continued to threaten self-harm, and he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act 2007 and placed into restraints before being taken by NSW Ambulance to Northern Beaches Hospital for a mental health assessment.
A crime scene was not established once the incident was complete, and the service station was able to reopen to customers just after 1.30pm.
If you, or someone you know is in distress and needs assistance, please contact Lifeline by calling 13 11 14. Help is also available by text for those who do not wish to call. Lifeline volunteers are available for crisis counselling 24/7. If you have capacity to help or donate to Lifeline, please visit the Lifeline website.