Michael Brewer Talks to Police for First Time After Burn Attack; Suspect's Brother Expresses Sympathy

Burned teen's parents say their son is determined to heal.

ByABC News via logo
November 5, 2009, 3:24 PM

Nov. 25, 2009— -- The parents of the Florida boy who police say was set on fire by other teens said they're putting their energy into his recovery rather than focusing on the prosecution of the suspects.

Valerie and Michael Brewer Sr.. told "Good Morning America" that their son, Michael Jr., 15, is determined to recover from the second- and third-degree burn injuries he sustained after he was doused with alcohol and set ablaze Oct. 12.

"He's making progress, in my eyes, in leaps and bounds," Valerie Brewer said today. "Yesterday, in physical therapy, they actually had him up climbing stairs. Incredibly painful as it is, he manages to work through it. He finds his happy place in his mind, and he just pushes forward."

The Deerfield Beach teen talked to investigators for the first time this week.

Police say Michael was attacked after he reported one of the accused to the police for allegedly attempting to steal a bicycle as payment for a $40 video game.

Brewer was cornered near the apartment complex swimming pool when suspect Denver Jarvis, 15, allegedly splashed him with rubbing alcohol and Jesus Mendez, 16, allegedly used a lighter to set him on fire, according to police.

Brewer threw himself in the pool in an attempt to douse the flames. His heartbreaking screams can be heard in a 911 call. "Help me," he could be heard pleading. "Please, please."

Jarvis and Matthew Bent, 15, and Mendez, who was 15 at the time of the incident, were charged with attempted second-degree murder. The teens, who were charged as adults, have pleaded not guilty.