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article imageDisturbing 911 calls reporting boy lit 'on fire' released

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By Kay Mathews     Oct 17, 2009 in Crime
Michael Brewer, 15, was set on fire by other juveniles. Authorities released disturbing tapes of 911 calls reporting the attack. The juveniles are charged with aggravated battery. Brewer remains in intensive care, facing "years of skin grafts."
As reported in DigitalJournal.com on Oct. 14, five juveniles set fire to 15-year-old Michael Brewer. Brewer, who lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida, has burns over 80 percent of his body. The Broward County Sheriff described the incident as "the most heinous crime" he has ever seen.
A report released on Friday by the Broward County Sheriff's Office includes dramatic emergency calls to 911, according to the Associated Press. In one, "a breathless 911 caller pleaded for help because 'a little boy just caught on fire' while in the background Brewer can be heard screaming in agony."
[Note: If you click on the AP link, there is an option to hear one of the 911 calls via Mp3. Please heed the "disturbing content" warning. The screams and cries of the boy and his pleas for help can clearly be heard.]
In another call, an unidentified woman says, "A little boy just caught on fire!" The woman was "barely able to catch her breath to give her address," reports the AP.
There were, in total, 28 minutes of recorded calls to 911.
Michael Brewer's mother, Valerie Brewer, was quoted by the AP as saying, "It's a complete nightmare."
The incident stems from "a dispute over a video game that escalated when someone tried to steal a bicycle that belonged to the boy's father." On Monday, the five youths were at Brewer's apartment complex where the suspects doused him with rubbing alcohol and a lighter was used to set him on fire.
The AP reports that all five teens have been charged with aggravated battery in Brewer's burning, and that one teen, who flicked the lighter, also faces an attempted second-degree murder charge.
It is possible that the five teens' cases may be moved to adult court.
Brewer remains in intensive care and suffers burns over most of his body. The AP reports that Brewer's doctor indicated that the teen is "doing as well as can be expected but faces years of skin grafts, therapy and surgery, and that potentially fatal organ failure and infections are common in cases so severe."
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