This story made me sick and angry when it happened. Three teens who set another young teen, Michael Brewer on FIRE over a "snitching" issue. Michael was released from the hospital today, but has, according to his doctors, the rest of his life to recover from these horrible injuries.
"Three teens -- Denver Jarvis and Matthew Bent, both 15, and Jesus Mendez, 16 -- are accused of being in a group that poured alcohol over Brewer and set him ablaze in what police said was a dispute over $40, a video game and a bicycle. All three teens are charged as adults with one count of attempted murder. Each has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, each could face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Detectives say eyewitnesses told them that Mendez used a lighter to set fire to Brewer after Jarvis poured alcohol over him. Bent allegedly encouraged the attack, police said. Brewer jumped into a pool at his apartment complex to put out the flames.
Authorities have said Mendez admitted setting Brewer on fire. According to an arrest transcript, the boy said he made a "bad decision."
As a mother of two sons, I simply cannot fathom how Michael's mother must feel seeing her darling boy suffering so horribly at the hands of three thugs who set him on fire. I saw Valerie Brewer interviewed today on CNN after Michael was finally allowed to go home after spending months in intensive care for major burns over most of his body. Michael's mother also discussed the night terrors he has each and every night, and how he fears for his safety. It's being reported that the family is no longer living in the home in Deerfield Beach, Florida because none of them feel safe, and that Michael is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and will for years.
I know it's probably not appropriate for me to feel as angry as I do about this poor child and the uphill battle he has ahead of him, but I do indeed feel a huge amount of rage. I remember seeing one of the thugs' mothers doing the typical "not MY boy!!" crap for the cameras when asked about how she felt about her son ("allegedly", my ass) participate and laugh while setting Michael on fire. MONSTERS. All of them.
I admire Michael for his bravery in every respect. To have the good sense to jump into a neighbor's pool while he was on fire was amazing in itself. He was stoic and courageous during his painful stay in the hospital, as he is being now while enduring the painful rehabilitation, that causes cracking and bleeding when he has to stretch his limbs.
My heart goes out to this strong, brave family.