Florida Police Officer Charged After Tasing Man Who Ignited into Flames While Pumping Gas

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A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been criminally charged for firing a Taser at a man who was pumping gas, creating a fireball that burned three-fourths of the suspect’s body.

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Osceola County Deputy David Crawford was charged with culpable negligence for the incident at a Wawa gas station near Orlando that was captured on video.

The suspect, Jean Barretto Baerga, had been riding his bike recklessly, running red lights, riding at high speeds on the sidewalk and grass, and driving into oncoming traffic. He reportedly ignored the officer on previous attempts to stop him, before pulling over to get gas.

Bodycam video shows Crawford tackling Baerga at the gas station while shouting at his partners to turn off the pump.

“Kill the pump! Kill the pump! There’s gas!” Crawford can be heard shouting after another deputy, Christopher Koffinas, used his stun gun on Baerga.

Crawford then shouted to Barega that “You’re gonna get tased again, dude!” The deputy delivered on his promise, igniting the flame.

“Deputy Crawford recklessly deployed a Taser at the victim who had become soaked in gasoline, and as a result, caused the explosion that injured the victim,” State Attorney Monique Worrell said, per Fox 35.

Baerga suffered second and third-degree burns over about 75 percent of his body as a result, according to lawyer Mark NeJame.

“If he was driving recklessly, charge him with reckless driving, but you don’t almost kill somebody and set them on fire,” NeJame said, via the Orlando Sentinel. “You cannot have law enforcement running amok.

“They’re supposed to be our protectors, not our ignitors.”

Crawford was also injured in the incident and has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.

Read More: Pit Bull Saved From Fire Becomes Member of Fire Department

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