Saturday, September 30

Florida deputy hurt suspect when using taser near gas spill: Charges

A Florida deputy has been charged with a misdemeanor after he started a fire, injured a suspect and also hurt himself when he deployed a stun gun near a gas spill, according to law enforcement.

Deputy David Crawford was placed on paid leave and charged with culpable negligence in connection with the botched arrest, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos López said at a press conference Thursday.

The incident, which was captured on video, began on Feb. 27 when the sheriff’s office received 911 calls about men on dirt bikes pointing guns at people, López said. Deputies responded to the area and attempted to stop Jean Barreto, 26, who drove erratically and fled, according to López.

The sheriff said a helicopter followed Barreto and several other people on bikes for about 30 minutes until Barreto stopped at Wawa to refuel. As deputies attempted to arrest him, Barreto’s bike was knocked over and fuel was spilled.

One deputy tried to use a stun gun on Barreto, but it didn’t work, López said. Crawford then deployed a Taser, causing the fuel to ignite a large fire. The flames engulfed both the suspect and the deputy.

“He was aware there was gas in the immediate area, he says ‘kill the pump, there’s gas,'” Lopez said. “His actions by him were reckless and the disregard for life rises to the level of culpable negligence.”

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