In addition to the three teenagers who appeared in court today on charges they set fire to Michael Brewer of Deerfield Beach, the Broward Sheriff's Office is now reporting the arrest of two more juveniles: Steven Shelton and Jesus Mendez, both of whom are also 15 years old, like the victim. From the BSO news release:
At 3:14 pm Monday BSO deputies were dispatched to the Lime Tree apartments in reference to a person who suffered a burn injury. Deputies arrived along with Deerfield Beach firefighters and found the victim, Michael Brewer, sitting in a lawn chair near the pool. The teen was burned extensively above the waist. The young victim said that he was splashed with a flammable liquid and then set ablaze. A BSO helicopter transported the victim to Broward General Medical Center. He was later transferred to a burn center in Miami. An intensive investigation by BSO Deerfield Beach District deputies and BSO Aggravated Felonies detectives, plus Crime Scene Investigators, was immediately launched.
Revenge was the motive for the torturous attack - retaliation for Brewer reporting the attempted theft of a bicycle Sunday night. Detectives determined that Brewer skipped class at Deerfield Middle School Monday and went to the apartment complex to visit a friend. At the complex, the five suspects approached Brewer, equipped with rubbing alcohol and a lighter. When he tried to walk away Denver Jarvis splashed him with alcohol and Mendez used a lighter to set him ablaze.
The suspects are all charged with Aggravated Battery and were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. Mendez, who actually flicked the lighter, is charged with Attempted Second Degree murder.