The Broward Sheriff's Office is investigating whether the attack stemmed from the teen stopping the attempted theft of his father's bicycle a day earlier.
Michael Brewer was hospitalized with severe burns. Three juveniles were in custody in connection with Monday afternoon's attack at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex but their names and ages were not released.
Brewer's brother-in-law, Danny Martinez tells the Sun-Sentinel he's in serious condition but doing OK.
Sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal says Brewer was burned over much of his body, especially his torso and arms.