Four Florida teens who allegedly doused a 15-year-old boy with rubbing alcohol and set him on fire could be charged as adults because of the "degree of cruelty" involved in the attack, officials said today.
A fifth boy who is only 13 may be too young to be charged as an adult.
The victim, Michael Brewer, remains on a ventilator in Jackson Memorial Ryder Hospital's burn unit. Dr. Nicholas Namias said Brewer is critically ill with burns over 65 percent of his body.
"Every part of his body is affected…his torso, legs, arms and head. It does look like the burns to his face and hands are not as bad as they could be," said Namias, ABC News reports.
The mother of a 15-year-old Deerfield Beach boy who was doused with rubbing alcohol and then set on fire says her son is strong and describes the attack on him as a "complete nightmare."
On the CBS "Early Show" Valerie Brewer said her son Michael is in very good hands at Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center.
According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, Brewer owed one of the teens who attacked him $40 for a video game. When he failed to pay up, the teen who was owed the money tried to steal an expensive bike on Sunday that belonged to Brewer's father.
Brewer called police and the teen was caught. The following day the teen that was owed the money, and four of his friends, spotted Brewer in the apartment's pool area. They allegedly held him down, doused him with the alcohol and set him on fire, CBS4 informs.
All five boys were ordered held in a juvenile detention center for 21 days. Their next court appearance is Nov. 2. Prosecutors have not said whether they'll attempt to try them as adults.
The Broward County sheriff's office typically releases the names of anyone charged with a felony, regardless of age, Los Angeles Times informs.