May 27 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have charged a Florida sheriff's deputy whose dropped stun gun ignited a fire that severely burned a man last year.
Osceola County, Fla., Sheriff's Deputy David Crawford has been charged with a single count of culpable negligence with personal injury in connection with the Feb. 27, 2022, incident, State Attorney Monique Worrell announced Thursday.
Jean Barretto, 26, was injured following a pursuit that ended with an explosion at a gas station.
On the day of the incident, deputies received a call about a man riding a motorcycle who had allegedly pointed a weapon at people. Helicopter footage from the day showed motorcyclists popping wheelies and weaving through traffic.
The police encounter ended with Barretto suffering severe burns. Crawford and another deputy were also injured.
Prosecutors said deputies followed Barretto into the gas station where they confronted him at a pump. They alleged Crawford tackled Barretto while other deputies joined in an ensuing struggle, during which Crawford "recklessly deployed a taser at the victim who had become soaked in gasoline," and as a result ignited an explosion.
According to Worrell, the victim suffered second and third-degree burns on at least 75% of his body and is still recovering.
The charge of culpable negligence with personal injury is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez recommended charges against Crawford last year.