West Palm Beach, FL - Michael Brewer, the teen we featured back in 2009 after three boys set him on fire, was arrested after being found in the possession of a cornucopia of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Listening to Michael scream in agony after being set on fire by three other boys, ranks as one of the more disturbing 911 calls I have ever listened to. It happened back in 2009 when Brewer was confronted by 15-year-old Matthew Bent, who was angry over some dispute regarding a marijuana pipe.
Bent allegedly ordered 15-year-old Denver Jarvis to pour a bottle of rubbing alcohol on Brewer, which he did. Immediately afterwards, 15-year-old Jesus Mendez used a lighter to set Brewer on fire. Engulfed in flames, Brewer saved himself by jumping into a nearby swimming pool.
Brewer would spend months in the hospital recovering from his injuries while Matthew Bent and Jesus Mendez would end up sentenced to 11 years in prison. Denver Jarvis would be sentenced to eight years in prison.
On Wednesday, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper stopped Brewer, now 18, after seeing him making an illegal U-turn at a red light. Brewer immediately told the trooper he had no driver’s license, but the trooper was more interested in the smell of marijuana coming from inside the minivan and decided to search Brewer.
He would find marijuana in a Ziploc bag, crack in a brown pill container, and three Oxycodone pills, for which Brewer did not have a prescription. He would also find 14 glass pipes, a bong, empty pill containers, a red straw and a blade inside the vehicle. Brewer admitted that it all belonged to him.
Brewer was charged with drug and paraphernalia possession, as well as being cited for driving without a license, running the red light and two other traffic citations. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail overnight and then released.
His family has not commented on his arrest, but on Wednesday his mother and grandmother were in court to support a reduction in sentencing for Jarvis. When asked how Brewer was doing, they said he continued to have nightmares about the incident and still suffered physically and emotionally.
I really do hope this kid makes it. I spent time in the Chapel Hill Burn Unit after one of my relatives was severely burned and got to know a few patients. Watching them all go through what they do after suffering such extreme injuries is as horrifying as it is often inspiring. Make no mistake, severe burns can break a person six ways from Sunday, both physically and mentally.
So I’m giving Michael some fuck-up room, while hoping he strives to become more than just a run-of-the-mill drug user.