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Florida Man Severely Burned When Fire Erupts During Arrest Attempt At Wawa Gas Station

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/CNN) - A state Fire Marshal's report is shedding new light on an attempted arrest that left three deputies and a suspect with burn injuries.

It happened at a Wawa gas station in Orange County in February.

Surveillance video from the station shows flames erupting near one of the pumps as deputies tried to take 26-year-old Jean Beretta into custody.

The sheriff's office said deputies tried to arrest Beretta because he was part of a group of motorcyclists that were pointing guns at people in the county. During a traffic stop, they said Beretta fled but deputies caught up with him at the Wawa.

Beretta's attorney Mark Nejame disputes that.

"If he was fleeing, ask yourself why would he spend a minute and a half putting gas in his bike which was only a mile away from his home," he said.

A witness at the gas station said he heard a Taser being deployed, but Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez has not confirmed that one was deployed. However, a Fire Marshal's Office report concluded, that "the most probable cause of the fire was an electric discharge from the deputies deploying a department-issued Taser device."

"An elementary child knows that you can't deploy electricity or anything that's flammable around gasoline," said Nejame.

Beretta suffered severe burns in the takedown and Nejame said he is continuing to fight for his life. He called for more transparency and accountability from the sheriff's office.

"Where are the body cameras the officers are given so we can see the other angles, where are the reports of all of the deputies who were there. We've got none of them," said Nejame.

Nejame said Beretta didn't have a gun and has never owned one. He said Beretta was taking part that day in a tribute ride for a fellow biker that started in Orange County.

(©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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