A Florida man is learning the hard way that being set on fire by police isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card.
This week, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez announced that a 26-year-old Florida man who was set on fire after being tased by police earlier this year may still face charges.
Earlier this year, Jean Barreto, 26, popped a wheelie and ran from a traffic stop on his dirt bike. After swerving around cars and onto the sidewalk, Barreto eventually stopped at a gas station where he was confronted by police.
Lopez said that Barreto’s dirt bike was knocked over by officers during the attempt to put him in handcuffs, spilling gas all over the pavement. The scuffle also resulted in an officer dropping his taser in the pool of gas.
According to Body Camera footage, Deputy David Crawford noted that gas had spilled on the ground and ordered the pumps to be turned off. Then, against all logic, he picked up the gasoline-coated taser and pointed it at Barreto.
“You’re about to get Tased, dude,” Crawford said before pulling the trigger.
As expected, spark plus gasoline equalled boom. Security footage shows that a bright light was visible and then fire erupted when Crawford discharged the Taser. Both Barretto and Crawford were immediately engulfed in flames.
After an investigation, David Crawford has been placed on leave and will be charged with a misdemeanor, authorities said this week.
Despite being set on fire, authorities said that Barreto could still face charges of fleeing police, reckless driving, and resisting arrest. It’s suspected that he was part of a group of bikers driving erratically in the area.
Barreto’s attorneys released a statement online stating that their client has been burned on around 75% of his body, and may be put into a medically induced coma after spending ten weeks in the hospital.
Barreto, who was employed by FedEx at the time of this incident, was said to have had no criminal record prior to this incident.