THIS is the shocking moment a police officer fired a taser in the face of a dirt biker at a gas station, igniting a fireball that “cooked him alive.”
Jean Barreto, 26, reportedly suffered third degree burns on 75% of his body after Deputy David Crawford, who was also injured in the incident, triggered a petrol explosion during an attempted arrest.
Sickening footage shows the cop screaming in pain and rolling around in agony as the pair became engulfed in flames at the Wawa gas station in Florida on February 27.
Both remain in hospital with Mr Barreto said to be fighting for his life as he undergoes further skin graft treatment.
Reportedly under pressure from his family, the Osceola County Sheriff Department released body cam footage of the incident this week.
The first, from Crawford’s camera, shows him approaching the gas pumps where Barreto was filling his bike before tackling him to ground.
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After the man appears to resist arrest, cop Crawford pulls out a gun and tasers him as gasoline continues to spill from the adjacent pump.
Despite acknowledgment of supporting officers of the flammable substance nearby, Crawford appears to fire his taser again – sparking an eruption of flames.
The clip shows him begging his fellow officers to “put out” the fire on his legs as he desperately rolls around for 30 seconds.
Another video, shot from the perspective of Deputy Christopher Koffinas, shows police tail Mr Barreto in a police car.
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After rushing to aid his colleague during the arrest, Koffinas appears to too pulls out a taser in the moments before the explosion occurs.
The assisting officers is shown put out the fire on his own pants before helping Crawford, whose legs are enveloped by the blaze.
Lying on the ground, another officer pours Gatorade on Crawford to put out the fire.
In both clips, the moment Barreto receives his injuries are not seen.
As the shocking footage was released on Thursday, Deputy Crawford’s actions leading to the explosion were blasted by an unnamed local police source as “absolutely reckless.”
“At the end of the day, did this young man deserve this? If he survives this his life will be destroyed,” they told the Daily Mail.
“Part of training curriculum that every law enforcement officer is taught is to determine appropriate use of a weapon. It is obvious that this was not an appropriate environment to use the taser.”
An attorney for Mr Barreto, Mark NeJame, later described the “dangerous” consequences of the incident as his client remains hospitalised.
He said: “Our client, Jean Barreto, has been cooked alive, by the overzealous, irresponsible, and illegal actions of the Osceola County Sheriff's office, whose policies, created and promoted by Sheriff Lopez, have led to this and other atrocities within his department.
“Their actions insult and defame the mostly good members of law enforcement, as much as their reckless policies maim, injure, and kill our citizens.”
He went onto confirm his client remains in Orlando hospital and has already undergone dozens of surgeries to treat his severe burns.
Now without most of his skin, Barreto is set to be put in a medically induced coma as he endures more intense treatment to stay alive.
“He is wrapped and unwrapped in gauze daily, bleeding profusely still as he doesn't have the requisite amount of skin to contain his body fluids,” NeJame said.
It came as Osceola County Sheriff Marco López fielded questions on behalf of the police in a press conference – detailing the events leading to the botched arrest.
He confirmed that the man was targeted by cops after he allegedly skipped a traffic stop set up by authorities,
The intervention had been made after a 911 caller had reported a reckless rider on a motorbike who had allegedly threatened with him a gun on the roadside.
Lopez added that the driver had approximately skipped 13 red lights, performed 6 wheelies, and driven in the opposite lane of traffic 5 times as was pursued by cops for several miles through Osceola County.
Police are reportedly planning to charge Barreto with several charges, including resisting arrest, if he survives.
On the incident, Sheriff Lopez previously acknowledged that a stun gun was deployed during the arrest but would not say if it sparked the fire.
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However, he added that Crawford will likely face misdemeanour charges of culpable negligence if found guilty of igniting the explosion.
An internal investigation is currently underway over the Osceola County Sheriff's' handling of the incident.
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