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Michael Brewer, Florida Teen Set on Fire, Expected Attack

(WFOR/Jackson Memorial Hospital)
(CBS/WFOR/Broward Sheriff's Office)
(CBS/WFOR/Family Photo)
(CBS/WFOR/Family Photo)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS/AP) Michael Brewer, the Deerfield Beach teen who was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire by bullies last year, told investigators he knew he was in danger, according to court documents released Monday.

Photo: Michael Brewer recovering in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Nov. 2009.

Although he had expected some kind of attack on Oct. 12, the 15-year-old told investigators he was surprised when the rubbing alcohol was splashed against his back, moments before he was set on fire.

There was "cold stuff all over my clothes, and all of a sudden (there was) burning," Brewer said. "Somebody poured something on me, and got me on fire. Then I started running and I jumped into the pool."

Photo: Matthew Bent (left), Denver Jarvis (center) and Jesus Mendez (right) have all been charged with attempted second degree murder.

The Broward County State Attorney's Office released more than 300 pages of documents, several witnesses' interviews and an audio recording of Brewer's sworn statement.

The office was already closed Monday when the Associated Press tried to obtain the documents.

Photo: Michael Brewer.

Brewer, while recovering at a Miami hospital, spent a half-hour with investigators on Nov. 23. Brewer told authorities one of his teen attackers had threatened him previously.

Prosecutors have charged Denver Colorado Jarvis, Jesus Mendez and Matthew Bent as adults with second-degree attempted murder in connection to the attack.

Brewer said Bent, 15, had threatened him, his sister and his friends a day earlier. Authorities say Bent ordered the attack on Brewer because he had a grudge against him. Brewer said Bent was angry at him because he wouldn't buy an item from Bent that he suspected was stolen. Brewer told investigators he couldn't remember what the item was.

Brewer said Bent approached him on a bicycle the day of the attack and told him, "Nobody's going to hit you." But then Jarvis, 15, reportedly poured the rubbing alcohol on Brewer, and Mendez, 16, lit the flammable liquid with a lighter.

Brewer told investigators he took off his shirt, hopped over a fence and jumped into a nearby pool at the apartment complex.

Brewer said he declined help from concerned residents offering to help him out of the pool.

"I said, 'No. Leave me, leave me.' Because my skin was, like, hanging,"' Brewer said.

Rescuers eventually responded to the scene, and Brewer was transported to the hospital by helicopter.

Brewer was released from the hospital on Thursday after experiencing breathing problems over the holidays. He had previously been released a few days before Christmas. With burns covering about 65 percent of his body, Brewer still faces a long recovery.

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December 14, 2009 - Michael Brewer Court Docs: "Pour it On Him," Teen Said Before Alcohol-Soaked Boy is Lit on Fire
December 7, 2009 - Michael Brewer, Boy Burned by Bullies, Gets New Skin Graft
November 25, 2009 - Michael Brewer Was "Best Friend" Says Boy Originally Accused of Helping Set Teen on Fire
November 20, 2009 - Michael Brewer's Parents: Boy Burned by Bullies Still Asks for Water to Douse Flames
November 11, 2009 - Michael Brewer Case: Mom Apologizes for Son Who Allegedly Set 15-Year-Old on Fire
October 23, 2009 - Michael Brewer, Boy Burned by Bullies, Getting Better
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October 15, 2009 - Boy Burned by Bullies, Mother Says Michael Brewer Staying Strong

  • Edecio Martinez

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