ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office released body camera videos Friday showing an arrest at a gas station that ended with a suspect and a deputy badly burned after a Taser started a gasoline fire.
The sheriff’s office released the video from three deputies — David Crawford, Christopher Koffinas and Ben Maclean — who attempted to handcuff Jean Barretto, 26, during the arrest in February.
A word of warning, all three videos contain extremely graphic content and language. They are presented in their entirety and viewer discretion is strongly advised before viewing them.
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The sheriff’s office said deputies were following the man because he was part of a group of bikers who had reportedly pointed a gun at at least two other drivers in Osceola County.
See video from the sheriff’s office helicopter in the media player below.
The video from Crawford’s perspective shows him initiating the arrest at a Wawa gas station in Orange County. Sheriff Marcos Lopez said during a news conference Wednesday that deputies had been following Barretto and were allowed to be in Orange County because of Florida’s laws regarding fresh pursuit.
In the video Crawford can be seen slowly approaching the pumps before running up to Barreto as the man was gassing up his motorcycle, tackling the 26-year-old to the ground.
“Get off the bike! Get on the ground now,” Crawford can be heard shouting in the video.
About 38 seconds into the video, other deputies can be seen joining the takedown. The video shows one deputy, Koffinas, using a Taser on Barretto.
Watch Crawford’s body camera in the media player below. WARNING: Content is extremely graphic.
Just a second later, the video shows gasoline on the ground. Lopez said during a news conference Thursday that Crawford can be heard saying, “Kill the pump, kill the pump, there’s gas.”
Seconds later, Crawford can be heard in the video saying, “You’re going to get tased again dude,” after he picks up Koffinas’ discarded Taser.
Shortly after that, the Taser can be heard being used in the video and flames erupt. Crawford then proceeds to roll on the ground, screaming in pain as his legs catch fire. This lasts for about 30 seconds. The remainder of Crawford’s video shows him being cared for by other deputies.
Koffinas’ video begins with him in his cruiser as deputies are following Barretto. At 20:37 into the video, Koffinas arrives on scene, parks his cruiser and rushes to help with the arrest, pulling out his Taser and telling bystanders to move along the way.
Watch Koffina’s body camera in the media player below. WARNING: Content is extremely graphic.
About 30 seconds later, Crawford can be heard off-camera saying he was going to use the Taser and then the flames leap into frame.
Koffinas rolls to put out the flames on his pants before jumping up to assist Crawford, whose legs are completely covered in fire in the video.
“Roll, roll, roll,” Koffinas shouts at Crawford as the deputy burns.
He continues to order Crawford to roll for about 30 seconds until another deputy runs up and pours Gatorade on the burning deputy.
After Crawford is extinguished, Koffinas walks back toward the pump where the fire started. A cloud of smoke can be seen coming from the area where Barretto can be heard screaming.
Koffinas calls for an ambulance at about 22:18 into the video.
A moment later, he walks over to Barretto, who is on the ground in handcuffs, most of his clothing appearing to have been burned off.
“Get me to the hospital right now,” Barretto said.
“Yeah, you’re going to the hospital,” Koffinas replied in the video.
A moment later in the video, Koffinas shouts at Barretto.
“Why were you running? Why were you running,” he said.
“I wasn’t running,” Barretto replied in the video.
At about 23:52 in the video, Koffinas collects the Taser, placing it back in his cruiser. The video then shows him checking back on Crawford, whose legs appear badly burned.
The fire department shows up shortly thereafter and Koffinas mutes his camera around the 30-minute mark.
Maclean’s video picks up about two minutes before he arrives at the gas station. As he gets out his cruiser, Barretto is already on the ground, the video shows.
Watch Maclean’s body camera in the media player below. WARNING: Content is extremely graphic.
Maclean can be seen trying to get Barretto’s arms behind his back. At 2:07 in the video, the Taser can be heard going off and the flames erupt.
Maclean then goes to the trunk of his cruiser, the video shows, as Barretto runs by him. Barretto is completely covered in the fire as he runs past screaming in the video.
Maclean gets a fire extinguisher and runs over to the man.
“Get down on the ground! Stop drop and roll,” Maclean shouted in the video as he pulls the pin on the extinguisher and sprays Barretto.
Maclean’s arms are visibly singed in the video.
As soon as the fire is out, Maclean and another deputy begin checking Barretto for weapons and order him to put his hands behind his back. The video shows most of Barretto’s clothes have been burned off from the fire and his skin is blackened and sloughing off from his limbs.
The video shows the two deputies place Barretto in handcuffs.
“I’ve got to go to the hospital,” Barretto said repeatedly in the video.
“They’re coming,” Maclean shouted back at the burned suspect.
About four minutes into the video, the deputy removes Barretto’s helmet.
“Focus on your breathing,” Maclean said in the video to Barretto.
“Get me to the hospital right now,” Barretto repeated several times to the deputies on the video.
The bodycam shows Maclean and other deputies continue to sit with the handcuffed Barretto, trying to get his full name.
About 11:30 into the video, firefighters make their way over to the handcuffed suspect. More deputies then gather, again trying to get Barretto’s full name.
“The fire department is going to come, but they’re going to need the information. So, if you want them to help, they are going to need the information,” an unidentified deputy can be heard saying on the video.
At about 15:30 into the video, fire crews begin helping Barretto, cutting off the man’s shirt.
“Take me to the hospital,” Barretto can be heard saying to the firefighters in the video.
About 19 minutes into the video Barretto is loaded onto a stretcher. At about 23 minutes into the video, Maclean’s body cam is muted.
On Thursday, Lopez announced Crawford would face a charge of culpable negligence for his use of a Taser, which started the fire.
Crawford is now on paid leave. The sheriff said an internal investigation will now begin to determine how many policy violations Crawford made.
Baretto, meanwhile, will face a charge of fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving, resisting arrest without violence and a felony charge for popping three wheelies on his motorcycle.
The man has been in the hospital, undergoing extensive treatment for his burns since the arrest, according to his attorneys Mark NeJame and Albert Yonfa.
The attorneys released a statement about the body camera video on Monday. It reads:
“Osceola County Sheriff Marco Lopez has continued his attempts to manipulate the public, the media, Mr. Jean Barreto and his counsel, by intentionally withholding critical evidence concerning Mr. Barreto’s being torched alive by Sheriff Lopez’s deputies. These latest efforts occurred when he failed to release body cam videos at his press conference this past Thursday, despite his promises of truthfulness and transparency. Sheriff Lopez intentionally did not disclose the damning and incriminatory contents of those videos, knowing how they only highlighted the reckless, violent, dangerous, and unnecessary actions of his deputies brought about the Sheriff’s military-like tactics and policies. Only after the continued pressure from the media and Mr. Barreto’s attorneys and the ensuing public outrage did Sheriff Lopez finally hold the long-overdue press conference after three months.
It was not until 4pm Friday with the continued pressure from media and Mr. Barreto’s counsel, did Sheriff Lopez release the body cam videos to only select media and at a date and time, Friday 4pm, when limited media coverage would likely not carry the story and when viewership is known to be minimal.
The manipulation was not accidental. It was calculated, blatant and intentionally deceptive. His further attempt to disparage Jean Barreto, who never possessed a firearm and was illegally attacked and then set ablaze, was despicable. It was done in a public press conference with the intent to deflect liability and responsibility from Sheriff Lopez, his policies, and his deputies.
The horrific body cam footage depicted the barbaric actions of Sheriff Lopez’s Osceola County Deputies, further incriminating the Sheriff’s Department for its heinous and outrageous actions, brought about by Sheriff Lopez’s failed and dangerous policies. We have attached a copy of the heretofore unreleased body cam footage.
The footage and attached pictures taken therefrom depict not only a gruesome scene, but a callous disregard for human life and for the safety of the general public. Mr. Barreto is seen at the gas pump as a deputy attacks him from behind, and performs a flying tackle. A taser discharge can be heard as Mr. Barreto lies face down on the pavement, taser probes protruding from his body. With four deputies on top of him, Mr. Barreto is completely restrained and overpowered. Recognizing pouring gasoline, which began to cover Mr. Barreto and the deputies, a deputy yelled out “Kill the pump, there’s gas!”, clearly evidencing knowledge of the lethal situation which was unfolding. Despite this awareness, and Mr. Barreto already having been tasered once and incapable of offering resistance, another deputy threatened to taser the helpless Mr. Barreto. Despite, this, and the basic knowledge that one does not ignite an electrically charged taser around gasoline, deliberate indifference was displayed by discharging the taser yet again engulfing Mr. Barreto and others in flames.
The body cam footage shows that as Mr. Barreto is consumed in flames, he is face down, completely helpless, no threat to the deputies or the public, being punched in the spinal area in the back of his neck, and completely swarmed and controlled by the deputies. The reckless actions of this sheriff’s department and the wanton disregard for human life are on full display.
As he’s handcuffed behind his back and writhing in pain, begging to be taken to the hospital as his body is sizzling, he is told by a responder, “Dude, listen to me, we will take you to the hospital but there’s a bunch of stuff that we gotta do first, okay? So just relax, take it easy.”
This outrageous conduct and the Sheriff’s failed policies are more highlighted by the recent, unjustified shooting of the three young men at Target, where Jayden Baez was shot to death, Joseph Lowe was maimed with his hands raised as deputies opened fire blowing off one of his fingers and crippling him, as well as shooting Michael Lopez in the back three times. Again, Sheriff Lopez plays the pathetic game of victim-blaming in an effort to deflect the truth.
The people of Osceola County deserve better and those who are good deputies that work for Osceola County deserve better. Sheriff Lopez’s victims deserve better.”Attorneys Mark NeJame, Albert Yonfa