Mom of Boy Set on Fire: It's "Disgusting"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was set on fire by his classmates said on "The Early Show" that violence among children needs to stop.

Valerie Brewer said what happened to her son Michael Brewer is "disgusting."

"Our country, our world, needs to wake up and see what is going on with our children," she said. "They need to do something. This has got to stop. It's not just my son. It's everybody's children. This could happen to somebody else and God forbid -- I don't wish this agony and torture on anybody. We have got to do something to make this violence stop today."

Five Charged With Setting Teen on Fire

Michael has burns on 65 percent of his body after he was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire. Five boys, who are all 13 to 15 years old, have been charged in the attack.

Broward County police say Michael owed one of the suspects Matthew Bent $40 for a video game. When he didn't pay up Bent allegedly tried to steal a $500 custom bicycle, belonging to Brewer's father. And when Brewer called the cops, police say, Bent wanted revenge.

Sheriff Al Lambert said, "This group of kids thought, that because the kid may have snitched him out, and turned him in because they were trying to steal his dad's bike, they felt in their mind, it was OK to set him on fire."

Fifteen-year-old Denver Jarvis is accused of dousing Brewer with rubbing alcohol. Jesus Mendez, also 15, is accused of flicking the lighter.

Detective Steve Feeley said, "(One suspect) told him pour it on him, pour it on him at which time a second suspect poured it on, then a third suspect lit him on fire."

Brewer ran and jumped into a pool, but it took a man with a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Authorities say Bent and Jarvis laughed when they were questioned about the attack.

Sherry Jarvis, the suspects' mother told CBS News, "They're good kids, they have good grades, no problems in school. Wrong place, wrong people."

As for Michael Brewer, he is fighting for his life in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he's expected to remain for months. Michael's doctor, Dr. Nicholas Namias, the director of the Burn Center at Jackson Memorial, said Michael is "doing as well as we could hope someone could do with this condition."

"But don't mistake that for being good," he said. "This is obviously a very bad thing, a very serious thing. People said yesterday he was out of the woods, but that's only half the sentence. … Burn patients only really start to get sick four, five, six days into it."

Namias said now doctors are trying to treat massive inflammation of Michael's whole body. He added Michael will likely deal with more infections and organ failures down the road.

"This is just part of the long process of treating a major burn," Namias said.

Michael's mother, who has been by his side, said on "The Early Show" she hasn't slept since her son was hospitalized.

"It's just a big blur," she said. "It's heartache and pain. And I have a wonderful support system. My family, my friends, and the staff here at the hospital, they're all taking care of me. And helping me to get through this."

If you would like to help Michael Brewer and his family, go to CBS 4's Neighbors 4 Neighbors.
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