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South Carolina man sets feet on fire during police standoff

April 15, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
South Carolina man sets feet on fire during police standoff

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A man who was the subject of a police standoff in Horry County, South Carolina barricaded himself inside a home lit the stairs of the residence on fire, forcing SWAAT team member to escape to safety on Wednesday.

After the SWAT team exited the residence, authorities arrested Bernard Emmanuel Jackson, 37, after he shouted that he was coming outside, Myrtle Beach online reported.

Online records indicate that Jackson has been charged with second-degree arson, evading arrest, and criminal trespassing. The incident started around 12 pm when sheriff’s deputies tried to evict him from a home.

When deputies came to the scene, Jackson ran inside, locked the doors, and pulled the shades down on all of the windows.

As officers attempted to get Jackson to come out, they heard “a loud noise” inside the residence, causing them to back out of the area. Horry County police SWAT team took over the operation.

The release stated that negotiators with the FBI, sheriff’s deputies, and HCPD tried to talk to him during the hours-long standoff, but he refused to come out.

After police realized that Jackson was alone inside the home, SWAT members raided the house to look for him on the second floor. Once they got inside, they “smelled a strong odor of gasoline,” the release stated. As they walked upstairs, Jackson set the stairs on fire, requiring SWAT to exit the home. Jackson then said he was coming out and walked out before he was detained. He was treated because his shoes caught fire during his exit.

Jackson and his wife are reportedly not U.S. citizens and are not subject to “the laws and authority of the United States or any courts in the U.S. or South Carolina,” the Sheriff’s Department reported. Authorities believe Jackson and his wife to be “sovereign citizens” because of their beliefs and actions,

The FBI indicated that “sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that though they reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the U.S. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.”

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