ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The electric discharge from an Osceola County deputy firing his Taser caused a fire that injured three deputies and caused another man to be burned on more than 75% of his body, according to a report completed by the state fire marshal this week.
The report says Osceola County deputies were in a vehicle pursuit attempting to stop a man on a dirt bike prior to the fire on Feb. 27 at a Wawa in Orange County located at John Young and Central Florida parkways.
Surveillance video from the incident shows an Osceola County deputy tackling a man, identified as Jean Louis Barreto Baerga, filling up his dirt bike with gas.
About 22 seconds after that, the first explosion happens.
The fire caused minor injuries to two deputies, and third-degree burns to another deputy. According to the fire marshal’s report, Barreto Baerga was burned on 76% of his body and was not expected to survive.
The report concluded that the start of the fire was accidental.
“The most probable cause of the fire was an electric discharge from the deputies deploying a department-issued taser device,” the report states in its conclusion.
The sheriff’s office previously refused to answer whether a Taser was used in the incident.
The department previously released its policy on stun gun use, which states members are not to use conducted energy weapons on subjects operating a motor vehicle or unarmed subjects that “could possibly be seriously injured by secondary factors as a results of CEW activation,” including around flammable substances.
Channel 9 is working on compiling additional details from the report and will have those live on Eyewitness News starting at 6 p.m.
©2022 Cox Media Group