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Police: Arroyo Grande burn victim was a suicide 

Law enforcement officials have announced that a man who seems to have set himself ablaze on Sept. 3 has died from his injuries.

According to an Arroyo Grande Police Department press release, police and fire authorities were dispatched at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 to the Swinging Bridge in the city’s Village district following reports of a man on fire. Several people who witnessed the incident reportedly rushed to the man’s aid and were able to successfully extinguish the flames.

The incident led to a small foliage fire around the bridge, which was promptly extinguished by fire personnel, according to the release.

The department has identified the man as 50-year old Arroyo Grande resident Jason Noble Cocks. According to officials, he incurred severe burns over most of his body and was air-lifted to the Fresno Burn Center, then later transported by ambulance to the Grossman Burn Center at the West Hills Hospital for treatment, where he succumbed to his injuries Sept. 4.

According to the release, one witness reported having smelled the pungency of gasoline in a nearby public restroom shortly before seeing a man fully engulfed in flames running north across the Swinging Bridge.

Investigators have ruled the death a suicide, though no other details were available as of press time.

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