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Teen torched by classmates in 2009 busted on drug charges

Michael Brewer was booked into jail in West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 21. Brewer, 18, is charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana and a controlled substance without a prescription.

A Florida teen who survived a horrific torching by three classmates after an argument over money was arrested early Wednesday on drug charges.

Michael Brewer, 18, was arrested during a traffic stop in West Palm Beach after police found pot, crack cocaine, prescription pills, 14 glass pipes, a two-foot-tall bong and other paraphernalia in the white van.

After a judge ordered him released on his own recognizance, Brewer's court-appointed lawyer said the charges -- a mix of felonies and misdemeanors -- were "not that serious," NBC's Palm Beach affiliate WPTV reported.

In 2009, Brewer was critically injured when three other teens doused him in rubbing alcohol and threw a lit match on him. He jumped into a pool to put out the flames, but was burned over 60 percent of his body and spent months in the hospital.

“I just remember a cold liquid going down my back and then I started walking and then I started feeling burning. And then I started running,” Brewer testified at the trial of one of the teens.

"I felt like I was going to die."


He originally told police the assailants were upset after an argument over a $40 video game but admitted on the stand that was a lie. The dispute was actually over drug paraphernalia one boy wanted to sell the victim.

One of the suspects, Denver Jarvis, was sentenced to eight years in prison and 22 years probation, though the probation was reduced to 10 years this week.

Jesus Mendez was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Matthew Bent, the alleged ringleader, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Mike Brewer Jr. speaks with TODAY's Meredith Vieira about visiting classmate Josie Ratley, a recent text-rage beating victim, and says that his school is "terrible" and that he doesn't even know why he went there.

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