According to law enforcement, a Florida deputy has been charged with a misdemeanor after starting a fire, injuring a suspect and also self-injuring when he used a stun gun near a spill. gasoline.
Deputy David Crawford was placed on paid leave and charged with gross negligence Osceola County Sheriff Marcos López said at a news conference Thursday regarding the nullity of the arrest.
The incident, which was captured on video, began on February 27 when the sheriff’s office received a 911 call about men on dirt bikes pointing guns at them, López said. According to López, delegates responded to the area and tried to stop Jean Barreto, 26, who was driving erratically and running away.
The sheriff said a helicopter followed Barreto and several others on bicycles for about 30 minutes until Barreto stopped in Wawa to refuel. When representatives tried to arrest him, Barreto’s bike was knocked over and fuel was spilled.
López said a second-in-command tried to fire a stun gun at Barreto, but it didn’t work. Crawford then deploys a Taser, causing the fuel to ignite a large fire. The fire engulfed both the suspect and the deputy.
“He knew there was gas in the area nearby, he said ‘let’s kill the pump, there’s gas’,” said Lopez. “His actions were reckless and his disregard for life increased to the extent of possible negligence.”
“Personally, I believe there was no malice as he was also burned,” he added.
Barreto spent 10 weeks in the hospital and is “still receiving potentially life-saving but very painful treatment,” according to a statement from his attorneys at the NeJame Law group.
“While being cooked alive, Mr. Barreto suffered third-degree burns about 75 percent of his body, from the front and back from his feet to his neck,” the statement said.
López said Baretto matched the original description of the suspect, but deputies did not find a gun mentioned in the 911 call to Baretto. Baretto will be charged with fleeing and attempting to evade law enforcement, reckless driving and resisting without violence, said law enforcement.
“We are not arguing that Mr. Beretta was driving recklessly,” attorney Mark NeJame told USA TODAY. “Law enforcement couldn’t break the law on their own to enforce it. And what they did was too serious, too violent, too terrible for a driving offence, they had to face. with consequences for their continued policies and practices.”
Barreto’s attorneys also expressed concern that the investigation was conducted by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office rather than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Lopez said his department handled the investigation because Taser, considered a “less lethal” force more than one gun, was used.
“By refusing to conduct an independent investigation knowingly avoiding scrutiny and review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office, Sheriff Lopez caused distrust and compromise the integrity of its office.