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Within minutes of being burned over much of his body, Michael Brewer wailed in agony as onlookers tried to help the 15-year-old, according to 911 tapes released Friday.
``Please, please, please,'' the boy screamed and cried.
``Please help me,'' he repeated.
The Broward Sheriff's Office released the series of calls in connection with Monday's attack by a group of five teenage classmates in Deerfield Beach. The teens, say police, set Brewer on fire after dousing him with rubbing alcohol, and have been charged in the attack. The boy remains in intensive care and doctors say it will take months for him to recover.
The 911 calls captured the drama that unfolded at a Deerfield Beach apartment complex, where witnesses saw the boy run into a swimming pool -- while on fire -- and his screams of desperation.
Among the most chilling calls came from an eight-minute recording of the exchange between a dispatcher and an unidentified woman who was at the boy's side.
``A little boy just caught on fire and he jumped inside of the swimming pool,'' she tells the dispatcher.
The woman describes the teen, lying on the ground, his skin peeling off. The woman asks if she should take the boys clothes off. His cries punctuate the call.
``He's screaming, he's alert,'' the woman says. ``Sweetie, sweetie I know it hurts. I know it hurts. You need to breathe. You need to breathe.''
The woman describes burns over the boys arms, chest and on his head and is prompted by the dispatcher to find out what happened.
``Sweetie, how did this happen?'' the caller asks.
``Somebody poured stuff on me,'' the boy responds. ``I don't know what happened.''
The boy continues to scream, as the caller tells him that help is coming and just to keep breathing.
``Please, help me,'' the boy screams as the caller tells him to relax. The boy begs for water, but the dispatcher warns not to give him anything.
In another development on Friday, Stephen Melnick, an attorney for the youngest of the accused, 13-year-old Jeremy Jarvis, asked for a competency evaluation for his client.
Broward Judge Michael Orlando granted the motion Friday morning, saying forensic psychologist Michael Brannon will evaluate the boy. Results will be discussed at a court hearing on Wednesday.
``I haven't discussed the facts of the case with him,'' Melnick said of his client. ``He's basically a child, and I don't know if he does fully comprehend what's going on. I don't know what his direct involvement was. All the police have released is a one-page, one-paragraph probable cause [document] saying he was involved by being there.''
According to investigators, the ordeal began with a video game. Brewer owed 15-year-old Matthew Bent $40 for it, and didn't pay up.
Bent tried to get even by stealing a bicycle Sunday from Brewer's father, BSO Sgt. Steve Feeley said. The custom-made bicycle looked like a chopper, and the family said it was valued at $500.
Bent tried to swipe it from the front porch, but the Brewer family stopped him and called BSO. Deputies arrested him that night.
On Monday, neither boy went to school.
Bent remained at home after his brief stay in a juvenile facility.
Michael Brewer stayed home on Monday, fearing retaliation. His middle school's resource deputy told Valerie Brewer to come in early on Tuesday with her son. They planned to talk about how to keep him safe, according to BSO.
But on Monday afternoon, Brewer went to the Lime Street Apartments at 429 SE 13th Ct. to see a friend, according to BSO. Bent happened to be there, too, along with four other boys: Denver Colorado Jarvis, 15; his brother Jeremy Jarvis, 13; Steven Shelton, 15; and Jesus Mendez, 15.
They spotted Brewer and hatched their plan, BSO said.
First, they grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol that they found along a wall in the apartment complex. Then they confronted Brewer. Matthew Bent called him a snitch, said BSO's Feeley. Brewer tried to walk away.
At that point, Feeley said, Bent gave the order: ``Pour it on him. Pour it on him.''
Denver Jarvis poured the alcohol, BSO said. Jesus Mendez used a lighter to set Brewer on fire. The other two, Jeremy Jarvis and Shelton, watched and did nothing, BSO said.
The flames spread over Michael's body as he broke free and ran to the apartments' swimming pool, throwing himself into the water. He left behind smoldering bushes and burn marks on the grass.
The five boys have been locked up in a juvenile detention facility. Each has been charged in connection with the attack.
Jesus Mendez faces charges of attempted second-degree murder; Bent, Shelton, Denver and Jeremy Jarvis were each charged with aggravated battery.
The only one to confess and show remorse for the act was Mendez, the boy who set fire to Brewer, authorities said. He allegedly told a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy he made ``a bad decision'' and just wanted to see what would happen.
Miami Herald staff writer Diana Moskovitz contributed to this report.
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