|A 15-year-old boy was badly burned Monday afternoon when he was doused with a flammable liquid and intentionally set on fire, officials said.|
Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Leljedal said the boy, identified by family members as Michael Brewer, was sitting by a swimming pool at about 3:15 p.m. when the bizarre attack occurred.
The seventh-grader suffered burns over 75 percent of his body, especially on his torso and arms, Leljedal said. Family members said most of his hair, including his eyelashes, had been burned off.
Late Monday night, the Sheriff's Office said three juveniles were arrested in the case. Their names and ages were not released.
Brewer's sister, Malissa Durkee, 22, said her brother screamed for help, getting the attention of a neighbor who put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The boy then ripped off his shirt and jumped in the pool, she said.
Detectives were investigating whether the attack at the Lime Tree Apartments in the 400 block of Southeast 13th Court was tied to an incident the day before, when Brewer stopped someone from stealing his father's bicycle. Leljedal confirmed that a juvenile had been arrested Sunday, but could not say whether the incidents were linked.
Danny Martinez, Malissa Durkee's brother in law, said Brewer, a student at Deerfield Beach Middle School, had refused to go to school Monday because of Sunday's incident. Sheriff's officials said he had gone to the apartment complex to visit a friend.
|Three teenagers were charged with aggravated assault today for allegedly holding a 15-year-old Deerfield Beach boy down, dousing him with rubbing alcohol and setting him on fire.|
The victim, identified by family members as Michael Brewer, suffered burns over 75 percent of his body, especially on his torso and arms, sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal said. A news conference on the case is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The suspects, Matthew Bent, 15; Denver Colorado Jarvis, 15; and his brother Jeremy Jarvis, 13, appeared before Circuit Judge Elijah Williams, who said the victim was sitting by a swimming pool at about 3:15 p.m. when the three teens allegedly approached him and confronted him "over money they said he owed them."
Then, he said, the victim was held down while the alcohol was poured on him, and someone lit the blaze. Brewer, a seventh-grader, jumped into the pool to put out the fire, the judge said. Family members said most of his hair, including his eyelashes, had been burned off.
Looking at this pic, the 15 year old needs to be kept off the streets.
Jeremy Jarvis, 13, left, and his brother Denver Colorado Jarvis, 15, appear in juvenile court, Tuesday. The brothers, along with a third boy were charged with burning the Deerfield boy. (Joe Cavaretta, Sun Sentinel )
Third update# More arrests.
Jeremy Jarvis, age 13, left, and his brother Denver Colorado Jarvis, age 15, center, and Matthew Bent, age 15, right, are seen in juvenile court on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward County Courthouse. The boys were charged in the burning of a 15-year-old Deerfield Beach boy. (Joe Cavaretta, Sun Sentinel / October 13, 2009)
|A teen out for revenge rallied his friends to douse a 15-year-old with rubbing alcohol, then told them to set the boy on fire Monday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.|
Moments before Michael Brewer was engulfed in flames, Matthew Bent, 15, the teen accused of organizing the attack, yelled "Snitch, snitch!" and "Pour it on him!," said Sgt. Steve Feeley, the deputy who investigated the case.
However, officials on Tuesday called the attack an unplanned incident: The teens had found a jug of rubbing alcohol by chance and did not know Brewer was going to be near the Deerfield Beach apartment complex's pool where they set him on fire.
Bent and four others have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault: brothers Denver Jarvis, 15, and Jeremy Jarvis, 13; Steven Shelton, 15; and Jesus Mendez, 15.
Mendez, who authorities say is the one who flicked a lighter at Brewer, was also charged with attempted second-degree murder.
Brewer suffered second-degree burns to 80 percent of his body, especially on his torso and arms, according to the Sheriff's Office
Update again with details by the Sheriff's Office, it makes for a horrific read.
|According to Broward Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Feeley, the feud started when Brewer borrowed $40 from Bent to buy a video game. He never paid him back. In return Bent tried to steal a custom, $500 bike belonging to Brewer's father Sunday night. Brewer called police, and Bent was arrested as he tried to run off with the bike.|
Bent, released from the juvenile center Monday morning, didn't go to school that day. He and Brewer attend Deerfield Beach Middle School. Brewer also stayed home, fearing an encounter with Bent. Brewer, a seventh-grader, has been kept back at least two grades, family members said.
About 3 p.m., Bent met up with four friends: brothers Denver and Jeremy Jarvis, 15 and 13 respectively; Steven Shelton, 15; and Jesus Mendez, 15. All are from Pompano Beach but Shelton, who lives in Deerfield Beach. The neighborhood shared by the teens straddles the two cities.
Near a wall by the Lime Tree Apartments in the 400 block of Southeast 13th Court, the boys found a bottle of rubbing alcohol, police said. They entered the complex's pool area and by chance came upon Brewer, who was waiting for a friend.
Brewer tried to walk away. Deputies said the group surrounded him.
"Snitch, snitch!" taunted Bent, who ordered Denver Jarvis to pour the alcohol on Brewer, according to investigators.
Mendez took a lighter from his pocket and flicked it at the drenched teen. Brewer and a bush nearby caught fire instantly. Covered in flames, Brewer ran 150 yards to the pool and jumped in. When a rescue team arrived he was sitting in a pool chair.
"This is one of the most heinous crimes I've ever seen," Lamberti said.
Nearby teens who witnessed the attack reported it to police.
"The kids from the neighborhood, they were scared of this kid Bent," Lamberti said.
Bent and the Jarvis brothers were arrested Monday night. Bent and Denver Jarvis laughed under questioning, Feeley said. Only Mendez, arrested along with Shelton on Tuesday, showed remorse, the deputy said.