Your Florida Daily: Osceola deputy charged, DeSantis stop in Central Florida

Plus: Florida’s switch from Democrat to Republican control

GRAPHIC WARNING: Video shows aftermath of arrest by Osceola deputies that started gas station fire

More than a year after an explosion at a gas station left a man badly burned, the Osceola County deputy who investigators say fired his TASER faces a criminal charge of culpable negligence with personal injury.

The State Attorney’s office said Deputy David Crawford quote “recklessly deployed a taser at the victim who had become soaked in gasoline, and as a result, caused the explosion that injured the victim.”

“A law enforcement officer is supposed to protect us, not ignite us,” says attorney Mark Nejame, who is representing 26-year-old Jean Barretto.

“The only reason he wasn’t burned in his feet in his hands and on his face is because he had a helmet on his head, gloves and boots. Otherwise, his entire body from top to bottom. It’s horrific.”

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Nejame said Barretto is still recovering from his injuries and owes more than $7 million in medical expenses.

As for Crawford, if he’s convicted of the misdemeanor charge, he could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a conference for parents of homeschooled students in Orlando. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

For the first time since announcing he’s running for president, Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Central Florida today.

He made an appearance at a convention before traveling to key primary states next week.

Despite the rocky campaign kickoff on Twitter Spaces, the DeSantis team said a record $8.2 million was raised in the 24 hours after the governor’s presidential announcement.

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File photo of tornado damage (KSAT 12)

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down near Miami Thursday, leaving a person hurt.

The EF-0 twister snapped trees and caused a semi to overturn, injuring the driver.

Forecasters say Florida could have another wave of severe weather today, but once the front clears — blue skies return with temperatures in the low 80s.

Random Florida Fact

Until the last quarter of the 20th century, most Floridians were registered to vote as Democrats.

The state legislature was similarly dominated by democrats, as was the office of the governor.

By the early 21st century, however, the gap between the number of Democratic and Republican voters had narrowed considerably. Republicans outweighed Democrats in the legislature, and two Republican governors had been elected in succession.

About the Author:

Katrina Scales is a producer for the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m. She also writes and voices the podcast Your Florida Daily. Katrina was born and raised in Brevard County and started her journalism career in radio before joining News 6 in June 2021.