Florida man with 75% body burns after taser can still face charges

A 26-year-old Florida man who was set on fire when a police officer attacked him earlier this year may still face criminal charges, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez announced this week.

The officer who used the Taser, Rep. David Crawford, has been suspended and will face a misdemeanor charge of negligence, Lopez said Thursday.

Jean Barreto did a wheelie and fled from an attempted traffic stop on her ATV. He swerved around cars and onto the sidewalk before stopping to fill up at a Wawa station on February 27.

There, the officers confronted him. Barreto had yet to put the gas cap back on when officers tried to handcuff him, knocking over his ATV and spilling gasoline all over the pavement, Lopez said at a news conference. An officer attempted to use his Taser on Barreto to subdue him.

The sheriff, citing body camera footage, said Crawford noticed the gas and yelled, “Turn off the bomb! Kill the bomb! There is gasoline!

Crawford then picked up the Taser from the other officer, who was sitting on the gas pedal, and said, “You’re about to get a Taser, mate,” according to Lopez.

The resulting fireball “engulfed” Barreto and Crawford, injuring two other officers at the scene, Lopez said. Security camera footage shows bright light and sudden flames at the moment the Taser apparently went off.

Barreto’s attorneys from the group NeJame Law said in a Facebook post that their client has spent 10 weeks in the hospital so far and will soon be placed in a medically induced coma.

“He has no skin on most of his body, his skin has been burned,” the post read. “He undergoes procedures that require his dead skin to be routinely stripped off his body. He is wrapped and unwrapped in gauze every day, he still bleeds profusely because he doesn’t have the amount of skin to contain the bodily fluids.”

The law firm alleged that the officers only requested emergency assistance for their fellow officers, not Barreto, and asked the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to release body camera footage and officers’ reports of the incident, charging to the police department not to live. lives up to his promise of transparency.

Jean Barreto was seriously injured in the February 27 incident.

The sheriff said it had taken the department weeks to complete its internal investigation.

Barreto had been “cooked alive,” NeJame Law said, and suffered burns to about 75% of his body, “front and back, from his feet to the bottom of his neck.”

Still, Lopez said at the news conference that Barreto could face charges of fleeing from law enforcement, reckless driving and resisting officers.

Police suspected Barreto was part of a group of bicyclists in the area who were not obeying traffic laws: Residents had already made several calls to 911 to complain about the group, with some saying they had seen a gun.

Officers were about to pull Barreto over when he sped away, joining the group of motorcyclists and weaving between cars before getting out to get gas. Using helicopter images, Barreto was identified as a bicyclist seen running multiple red lights.

Barreto’s attorneys said their client had no criminal record and worked at FedEx until he suffered his debilitating injury.

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