WATCH: Attempted arrest at gas station ends in inferno

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:30 PM EDT
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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (WKMG) – An attempted arrest at a gas station in February resulted in burn injuries for three Florida deputies and a suspect, according to a fire marshal’s report.

Surveillance video caught the moment a fire broke out near one of the station’s gas pumps.

A witness to the incident said he heard a Taser deployed, but Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez never confirmed a taser played a role in the fire.

A newly obtained copy of the state fire marshal’s office report suggests otherwise.

It concludes, in part, “the most probable cause of the fire was an electric discharge from the deputies deploying a department-issued Taser device.”

“An elementary child knows that you can’t deploy electricity or anything that’s flammable around gasoline,” he said.

Nejame is representing the man taken down by deputies, Jean Beretta. The 26-year-old suffered severe burns in the takedown, and his attorneys say he continues to fight for his life today.

Nejame called for more transparency and accountability from the Osceola Sheriff’s Office.

“Where are the body cameras the officers are given so we can see the other angles, where are the reports of all of the deputies who were there,” he said. “We’ve got none of them.”

Shortly after the incident, Osceola County deputies said they tried to arrest Beretta because he was part of a group of motorcyclists pointing guns at people in the area. They also said Beretta fled during a traffic stop, but they later caught him at the Wawa gas station in Orange County.

Nejame said he disputes these details.

“If he was fleeing, ask yourself: why would he spend a minute and a half putting gas in his bike which was only a mile away from his home?” Nejame said.

Nejame said Beretta didn’t have a gun and has never owned one and that he was taking part that day in a tribute ride for a fellow biker that started in Orange County.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office plans to update the public on the incident Thursday.

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