“It was horrible,” recalled Daniel Jensen of Pinellas Park, Florida. “I was laying in a puddle of water being electrocuted here by the people that are supposed to protect us. I’m trying to protect my family, my neighbor, and they bring harm to me. I don’t understand.”
Jensen’s bewilderment is easy to understand. Around 6 p.m. on November 8, Jensen was awakened from a nap by his wife, who informed him that their neighbor’s house was on fire. Seeing the flames approaching his own abode, Jensen grabbed a garden hose and began spraying down his own house. Within minutes, he found himself — with no warning — on the receiving end of a Pinellas Park Police taser. Burn marks from the incident remained on his body for days; the painful memories will last a lifetime.
As soon as his wife told him there was a fire, Jensen said he ran outside, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and sprayed it until it was empty. Then he went for the garden hose.
“I was calling for my daughter and getting no response. I came out, grabbed the hose and sprayed her room until I heard she was out. I was always taught to help when you can; help is what I tried to do,” Jensen told WTSP-TV.
After his daughter had safely exited, Jensen proceeded to hose down his fence and the back corner of his roof, hoping to keep the fire from spreading to his property.
“He was basically just protecting his property,” neighbor Luis Rosa told WTSP. “He was hosing the fence down making sure the fire didn’t jump to the other side, and he was doing a good job.”
The police, however, did not see it that way. Rosa told the station that officers pulled Jensen away from the fire “several times.”
“They kept telling me, ‘Let it go, that’s what insurance is for,’” Jensen said. “That’s not acceptable to me.”
His insurer undoubtedly would agree. And, of course, some things are truly irreplaceable, insurance or no.
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