October 11th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Burned boy: Attackers 'got what they deserved'

Michael Brewer, seen in March, says he is getting counseling for his anger.

Michael Brewer says the boys who set him on fire a year ago, "got what they deserved."

Brewer said he wished the three boys who poured alcohol on him and torched him with a lighter were "right here" so he could deal with them himself.

Brewer added he's getting counseling for his anger. His remarks came during a 16th birthday party thrown for Brewer by residents of a retirement facility near Fort Lauderdale.

The seniors befriended the teen after hearing about the incident which had Brewer fighting for his life.

The three boys who set Brewer on fire a year ago have been charged as adults and face attempted murder charges. All three remain in jail.

An apparent dispute over a bicycle and a music CD set off the events.

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Filed under: Bullying • Child safety • Crime • Florida • Justice
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. La Piovra

    "Boys will be boys" is the lamest thing I have ever heard. "Malevolence" does not derive from "male", and the vast majority of males, human or animal, are not born psychopaths. These boys, whether born or taught, are psychopaths, and they need to be put away where they can't do it again. You, out there: the three signs of a burgeoning psychopath (the Macdonald triad) are sadism, firesetting, and the kind of bedwetting that has no physiological or external cause. I don't know if the perps wet their beds, but they've sure done the other two. My jurat brother was murdered by fire seventeen years ago, and the killers never found. I don't want to see that again. Let these boys be boys in confinement, preferably solitary.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Meh

    Boys will be boys? So almost killing another person is what you call boys being boys? Scary. I hope you don't have any sons.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tomcat

    @ltbob doubt me if you want i would love to show you the beat up leather helmet i wore with my name and rank on the front plate. i was in when alarms came in via plectron. fake my butt

    October 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. phil

    So it's OK by you all for children to spend mindless hours playing video games where they pretend to set each other on fire?

    October 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. phil

    Where do you all suppose these kids got the idea to set a boy on fire? From the back of a box of Captain Crunch? The back of a baseball card? Where did they get this idea in the firstplace, and how long was this idea nurtured before it reached fruition?

    October 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. phil

    If you all can't make the connection between children spending endless hours playing violent video games pretending to set each other on fire, and one day, perhaps after years of pretending, actually doing it.....I feel for ya.

    October 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. anonymous

    I've always wondered about that case, frankly. There is a well-known bar trick where someone throws or breaths alcohol and lights it to frighten people. Perhaps when the facts come out we will discover that these very young boys did not mean to cause this boy the harm that they did. Often when adolescents say that they didn't mean it, they really didn't. Another thing about this case – when I read up on it – it seems this middle class kid borrowed money from poorer kids and then refused to pay them. One of the kids went to the borrower's house and took his Dad's bicycle as payment. Instead of asking his son why he took money from poorer kids, the Dad filed charges against the boys, thus seriously harming their futures. While I disagree with how the boys behaved, their anger was understandable. If the father had handled this case properly from the onset, by confronting the parents of the boys and having a discussion, the incident might never have occurred. I don't blame this boy for his injury, but he was responsible for initiating the events that led to his injury and instead of being continually martyred, perhaps it would be better to ask him to discuss the entire episode and give other kids an understanding of how everyone should get along. Don't take money from poorer kids when you have no intention of paying them back, for starters - that money means more to them then to a kid with a father who plays with expensive bicycles. And as for the public at large, don't jump to conclusions on the meaning and conduct of children without a thorough examination into their way of thinking. I expect an adult to recognize the danger of throwing alcohol and lighting it (even though I once saw a bartender do it without consequence). I don't expect kids to really understand or appreciate that this sort of fear tactic popularized on MTV and elsewhere might actually cause another to come close to losing his life. Either way, this young man needs to deal with his anger and figure out his role in the story.

    October 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Melissa

    The reason our youth have become sh!ts is because of parents who just "ground etc" I'm sorry, but you don't just ground a kid because they almost killed someone. Talked back or missed curfew, yes... But setting someone one fire?? No! They knew what they were doing and if they "didn't mean it" then maybe the lawyers should be having them take an IQ test. They would have to be pretty stupid to not know they would probably kill the kid. It would call for a less harsh punishment. The thing is, they weren't that stupid... They had no intentions of putting out the fire, thus expecting death. And come on, you don't try to kill someone over $40. I don't care how poor you are.

    October 12, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adrian Zupp

    I recently wrote a blog post on bullying called "NO TIME FOR BULLIES" and I invite you to read it:


    Take care,
    Adrian Zupp

    October 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John Savard

    It's quite reasonable for him to be angry at the people who tried to kill him and cause him so much pain, but he might need help not to be feeling this anger all the time so as to affect his dealings with the other people around him.

    October 14, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. phil the fail

    Name one video game where you light someone on fire with rubbing alcohol over a bike. You can't. I wrote my dissertation on violent video games and the impact they have. Ironically, the majority of children who play violent video games grow up to be well adjusted, normal adults. Yet another American scapegoat. Stop talking.

    October 25, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
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