Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
October 14th, 2009
11:09 AM ET

Cops: Teen Suspects Laughed About Setting Boy Ablaze

Some new details about that horrific attack in Florida, where a 15-year-old boy was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire.

Police now have five juvenile suspects in custody. All are charged with aggravated battery; one of them's charged with 2nd degree attempted murder, as well.

Witnesses say the teens yelled "he's a snitch, he's a snitch!" and "pour it on him!". After their arrest, an officer heard a couple of them laughing about the attack. The motive here, police say: payback over money the victim owed for a video game, and his reporting one boy's attempted theft of his father's bike.

We told you what we knew about the story in Tuesday's second hour. Then Kyra talked to a clinical psychologist about the cruelty and violence of this attack.



soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. WSB-Bethesda, MD

    You have got to be kidding me. If these kids are guilty of what they are accused of, I have no problem charging their parents too. It's simply not fair and extremely irresponsible for people to have children and then make the rest of society clean up the mess they create up because their parents failed to raise them appropriately. Those parents might as well be running around town leaving loaded weapons on park benches. Same thing.

    October 14, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  2. marsh

    u cant blame parnet for everything!!! regardless of age they knew right from wrong. they knew setting him on fire would hurt him. so they need to be held accountible for there own actions. if you do adult crime you get adult punishment. –if this was another country it would be off with their heads....

    October 14, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  3. Robert Lake,MI

    These kids were minors right? Then make their parents pay the price for not bringing up their kids right! Some personal responsibility here is needed! Start throwing the book at these kids with no rules! Also make the parents pay for any legal procedures and rehabilation time, make them pay for it all! If we start holding these minors parents responsible and set a standard policy of no tolerance then these kids will stop this crap!

    October 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Mike

    As I see it the Laws protect the kids rights and not the parents who catch the blame !! You as a parent today are not allowed to punish chirldern or correct chirldern ! Without Family Services becomeing involved . And in most cases the parents get blamed So make the kids pay and make them accountible as adults!!

    October 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  5. Rose J

    I believe the parents should also take some responsibility, they are the ones that are raising these kids who think its funny to burn another child. In my experience these children are most likely left alone most of the time and when the parents are around they just ignore the children, out of sight out of mind....and children tend to reflect their parents actions, be brutal and uncaring, your children will be as well. Children are being taut to care for themselves and dam all others.

    October 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Edward

    2000 years ago, they sat around the fire and determined that to spare the rod, you spoil the child. In the 60's, Dr. Spock said "talk to you kids, don't hit them". The kids soon learned talking don't hurt, so why listen?Ask any oldster, when you misbehaved, you got whacked. You thought twice about it before acting up again. So, today, "you reap what you sow". Enjoy the fruits of your labor, or lack of it. Corporal punishment kept many an erant youth in line long enough to learn right from wrong. Todays youth do not know where the boundries are any more.

    October 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  7. Peleti

    All of them should be brought up on attempted murder charges.

    October 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Where is Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson on this situation where a single white teen gets set on fire by 5 black teens....if the circumstances were reversed they would be right in the middle of it.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  9. NANCY

    It's not up to Mr. Obama to tell OUR children how important it is to stay in school and study hard. Dream about going to the moon, to cure diebetes, to be president or just to be a happy and productive person in our communities, churches, and family.

    We as parents must not STOP raising our children, do the best you can and teach them to respect others. I am a mother whose son was killed by another young man. When we went to court the father was asked about his son's activities at home and school and what type of person he was; the father could not say. Wanted or unwanted planned or not planned if you bring a child into this world do the right thing, we only get one shot at this; let do the best we can.

    My prayers are with the young man and parents.


    October 14, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  10. Alex Russell

    How did we get to this point? Kids setting each other on fire and then laughing about it after their arrest. School shootings got our attention, but this has raised the bar somehow. These bullies have graduated and deserve to be tried as adults, each and every one of them. We hold our breath until the next headline. Good grief.

    October 15, 2009 at 3:52 am |
  11. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The government needs to call off the dogs { CPS } and let the parents raise there kids the old fashion way to get old fashion results for the past 25 yrs. we have tried it there way and there way dont work.

    October 15, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  12. Tra

    That is really said when you hear about things like this with young people. This morning listening to this on the news it was heart breaking. He was only trying to keep someone from stealing his fathers bike. These other teens did this and that is really sad to know.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  13. Cheryl E. Weaver

    There should be no leniency for the teens who did this, no matter what their age. These animals need to be caged for the rest of their lives! Where were the parents when it came to parenting? Perhaps they should be charged also. It's time set an example and put an end to teen violence.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  14. David

    Where is everybody that screams racism when one kid calls another kid a name? These people SET HIM ON FIRE. If Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton cared the least bit about human beings of any color, they should be condemning these people for their actions. Notice I said people and not children. You do something this atrocious to another person, you forfeit the protective shield of being labeled a child.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  15. Andrew

    We need the goverment out of our homes in order to take controll over the children today, As long as the children can't be whipped like the old days, they want have any fear of what they think and do. Bernie Mack has gone now and I feel in his on way he was trying to tell America what our children need not want but need. Back in my time of coming up as a child, I even had to get what was due in school if my parents wasn't there so that the school could have a controlled enviroment. So until we get some of that back and parents to help in the cause of peace we want have anymore good days ahead. Now i don't advacate for abuse but a good nice long whipping never killed anyone but made them have fear of doing wrong.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  16. Sharon from Phoenix

    The attack on Michael Brewer is extremely upsetting. What can CNN viewers do to help him and his family? Has a fund been established to help them with the cost of his medical care? Could you please broadcast an address to send contributions? Please keep viewers updated on his progress. Prayers to his family and medical team.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  17. Angie

    Why is only one boy charged with attempted murder?

    According to witnesses the teens who set the boy aflamed were all yelling "He's a snitch, he's a snitch. Pour it on him."

    Apparently these boys were attacking the teen for telling on their friend who stole the bike. Now they all got arrested. And their futures for their part in this horendous crime will be marred with their deccision to participate in attempting to kill the teen.

    Since it was unlikely that the victim would have come out of this alive if a witness did not call 911 when the attack began, All the boys involved in the attack should be charged with attempted murder.

    And anyone who believes that these boys who set out to kill this boy, should be slapped in the hand and handed over to their parents must be violent criminal themselves.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  18. Andrew

    I see some folks want Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson to come out and make this a white/black thing when we all no that the blacks that did this, will be handle in our courts as they should be. But as Black man in America and hearing of this, It would make no difference of the color of a person, persons this kind of behavoir is wrong and it's about a bike not that they was charged with any other hate crimes so lets keep it straight and to the point people, But if and I say if it was a race issue I would want to see Al and Jesse make some statements against it and fight to see justice done all the way to the end. If I had to lay blame on anything it would be some cartoons and some television and some music, Theirs to much violents and bad idears in it all.

    October 15, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  19. Karen

    too bad the punishment can't equal the crime.

    October 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  20. Jon

    Let them sit in a cell for a while. I think everyone should put the kids that were responsible for this in there back of there minds temporarily....and worry about what is much more important right now! Michael Brewer is laying in a hospital bed-in VERY VERY bad shape...I think that everyone's efforts should be with him right now!! Get Michael better-then worry about the ones responsible...they arent going anywhere!! Then, after Michael is better-hold every one of them fully responsible-AND THERE PARENTS!

    October 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  21. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This has nothing to do with racism this has everything to do with no coreperal punishment for kids because of fear of procecution from the CPS .

    October 15, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  22. Fred

    I'm with you, Kyra, on this one. But are we as adults creating a world that is not respectful of life in some quarters? Kids are sponges that absorb everything they see. What are they seeing out-there?

    October 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  23. Suzanna

    This is truly a horrible, cruel, and unforgiving act – it frightens me about the cold indifference and disregard for life many young adults feel today.

    October 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm |