Michael Brewer was attacked, and set on fire by 5 teens last October. Ironically, he attended the same middle school as Josie Lou Ratley; the 15-year-old girl attacked, and brutally beaten by Wayne Treacy. The two victims had attended the same science class at Deerfield Middle School in Florida.
Michael (Mikey) Brewer is a survivor, and he is courageous. Michael was attacked at an apartment complex in Deerfield Beach in October 2009 by 5 teens who surrounded him, doused him with alcohol, and lit him on fire. Thankfully, he was near the pool when it happened. In flames, Michael jumped in the pool. Brewer was also in a medically induced coma due to second and third degree burns on over 50 percent of his body.
Josie Lou Ratley is still in the medically induced coma. She was attacked while waiting at a bus stop outside of her middle school. Treacy beat her with his fist, and then kicked her repeatedly in the head; he was wearing steel-toed boots. The injuries inflicted to Josie’s head required two surgeries, and part of her skull had to be removed.
A very courageous Michael Brewer went to visit Josie while she lay in a hospital bed in a coma with tubes in her, and bruises. A little over five months ago Michael was the one lying in a hospital bed; it had to be hard for him to see her like that. Michael has not allowed what happened to him harden his heart. His compassion, strength, and determination is amazing.
There are mixed emotions about all of the attackers in both cases, and understanding what would cause teenagers to show a lack of human compassion is complicated. Michael Brewer was attacked over $40, and for reporting the attempted theft of his father’s bike. Josie Lou Retley was allegedly attacked because of text messages that made references to Wayne Treacy’s brother who recently took his own life.
It is easy to understand Treacy’s pain and suffering over his brother’s death, and the fact that he is probably still in mourning. One has to wonder if he was getting any family or professional support in dealing with such a significant loss. Mourning the death of a loved one is an emotional rollercoaster, and it can cause depression, denial, numbness, anger, and other very complex emotions. It is hard to understand Treacy’s actions, but there is no justification in nearly beating someone to death.
When Josie Lou Ratley opens her eyes, and Michael visits again (it’s safe to assume he will) it will give her the hope and courage she needs to overcome this horrific ordeal.