5 Teens Arrested for Setting Boy on Fire

Five juveniles are in custody for the torturous attack

By Todd Wright
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 8:44 PM EDT
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The Fire Five


Michael Brewer

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Burned Over a Bike

A Broward family reacts to their relative being nearly burned alive.
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It's the type of crime that makes you cringe when you hear it. A teenager was set on fire in a yard in Deerfield Beach on Monday.

But the motive might be just as enraging. Family members of 15-year-old Michael Brewer claim the boy was targeted by other teens who tried to steal his custom bicycle.

Five juveniles - four 15-year-old boys and a 13-year old boy - have been arrested in connection with the assault.

Matthew Bent, Steven Shelton, Denver Jarvis and his little brother Jeremy Jarvis, and Jesus Mendez appeared in front of a Broward judge Tuesday and all face aggravated battery charges.

Mendez allegedly lit the match and is charged with second-degree attempted murder. Prosecutors said the motive was revenge for Brewer reporting the group had tried to steal his bicycle on Sunday night.

One of the kids poured rubbing alcohol on Brewer, who was being held down. Then Mendez pulled out a lighter, igniting Brewer, prosecutors said.

Brewer ran to a nearby pool to jump in to extinguish the flames, Broward Sheriff's investigators said.

The boy's clothes were burned off his body and lay in the yard where he tried to stop, drop and roll the flames off. Brewer suffered severe burns on 75 percent of his body and police found him sitting in a lawn chair near the pool he had jumped in.

Detectives determined that Brewer skipped class at Deerfield Middle School and went to the Lime Tree apartment complex to visit a friend.

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