Florida man “cooked alive” after deputy’s Taser ignites gas at gasoline station, legal professionals say

Attorneys for a Florida man say he’s nonetheless combating for his life after being “cooked alive” in February when a sheriff’s deputy allegedly deployed a Taser whereas the person was lined in gasoline whereas fueling his bike. Jean Barreto, 26, has third-degree burns over 75% of his physique, his legal professionals stated Wednesday.

Each Barreto and the deputy who allegedly deployed the Taser are going through costs, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez stated throughout a Thursday press convention. Barreto is going through costs together with fleeing and making an attempt to allude legislation enforcement, reckless driving and resisting an officer with out violence. The deputy is charged with culpable negligence. Neither has been arrested at this level.

On Thursday, Lopez performed video of the February 27 incident. The footage, which was captured by a helicopter, confirmed a portion of the 30-minute visitors disruption allegedly attributable to Barreto and different motorcyclists. In it, the bikers look like driving on the incorrect facet of the highway, popping wheelies and stopping in the course of the highway, simply in entrance of different vehicles. In keeping with Lopez, the bikers ran a number of purple lights and endangered the lives of different motorists. Authorities additionally believed that the bikers had weapons, as 911 callers alleged.

Screenshot from video of the incident, offered by the sheriff’s workplace throughout a press convention on Thursday, Might 19, 2022

Osceola County Sheriff’s Workplace

“Persons are simply sick of it — sick and drained of these things,” Lopez stated because the video performed.

Deputies tried to arrest Barreto throughout a visitors cease, however he fled the scene. They later caught up with him on the Wawa, the place he was refueling his bike.

Screenshot from video of the incident, offered by the sheriff’s workplace throughout a press convention on Thursday, Might 19, 2022

Osceola County Sheriff’s Workplace

In one other video shared throughout Thursday’s press convention, deputies strategy Barreto on the gasoline pump. Not sure if he does have a weapon, deputies interact with him, attempting to get his arms the place they’ll see them, Lopez stated. At that very same time, the bike was knocked over, inflicting gasoline to pour out of it. The deputy charged will be heard saying on physique digital camera video “Kill the pump! Kill the pump! There’s gasoline.”

Nonetheless struggling to get Barreto to cooperate, Lopez stated a deputy picked up a Taser and instructed Barreto he was about to make use of the Taser on him. Moments later, the video reveals a large blaze erupt on the pump. In keeping with Lopez, primarily based on Taser logs and an investigation achieved by fireplace officers, the hearth was attributable to the deputy deploying the Taser close to the flammable gasoline.

Screenshot from video of the incident, offered by the sheriff’s workplace throughout a press convention on Thursday, Might 19, 2022

Osceola County Sheriff’s Workplace

The sheriff stated each Barreto and the deputy went up in flames. Close by deputies helped Barreto first, Lopez stated, utilizing a hearth extinguisher to place out the flames.

Barreto’s legal professional Mark Nejame says his consumer was “bum-rushed from behind” by the sheriff’s deputy, and his grime bike fell over, spilling gasoline on Barreto and the deputy. His legal professionals say at three extra deputies arrived and considered one of them “proceeded to make use of using a Taser on Mr. Barreto, engulfing virtually his whole physique in flames and roughly half of the opposite deputy’s as nicely.”

Jean Barreto

NeJame Regulation Workplace

“Whereas being cooked alive, Mr. Barreto sustained third diploma burns on roughly 75% of his physique, back and front from his toes to the underside of his neck,” Nejame stated.

Barreto, who spent 10 weeks within the hospital, remains to be present process “excruciating” remedy and was anticipated to be positioned in a medically induced coma this week to bear debridement, his lawyer stated.

The deputy additionally suffered burns. Lopez stated Thursday that the cost towards the deputy was determined after reviewing the entire proof, which confirmed his actions have been “reckless” and “held such disregard for human life that it rises to the extent of possible trigger for culpable negligence.”

Lopez additionally stated the entire responding deputies have been sporting physique cameras, and the footage from these cameras will quickly be launched to the general public.

The deputy is at the moment on paid administrative depart. The sheriff’s workplace will now launch an inner investigation to find out what number of, if any, of its insurance policies the deputy violated.

In the meantime, Nejame known as for extra transparency and accountability from the sheriff’s workplace and stated he would request that the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement take over the investigation.

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