A 6-year-old Connecticut boy was hospitalized with severe burns after he was allegedly attacked by a bully.
According NBC 4 New York, the horrific incident occurred Sunday in the backyard of a Bridgeport home, where Dominick Krankall had been playing with other children. Dominick’s older sister, Kayla Deegan, claimed that an 8-year-old neighbor went inside a shed located on the property and managed to gain access to a lighter and gasoline. The 8-year-old then allegedly lured Dominick to come near him, before he attacked him with a flaming tennis ball.
“As soon as he walked down the stairs, the bully called his name and lured him over around the corner, and in a matter of seconds he came back around the corner screaming, saying ‘Mommy, they lit me on fire,’” Deegan recalled. “What he did was pour gasoline on a tennis ball, took a lighter, lit it up, and just chucked it right at my brother’s face — and then ran away from him and watched him burn.”
Dominick was immediately rushed to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns across his body and face. NBC 4 reports the child will likely remain in the hospital for a week, and is expected to make a recovery.
His family claims this isn’t the first time the alleged bully has harmed the child. Deegan said the burning incident took place just a couple of months after the 8-year-old pushed Dominick into a wall, causing him to fall to the ground. The 8-year-old’s mother has denied the bullying allegations, and claimed Dominick was burned because his mom, Maria Rua, had neglected him.
“There was no bullying whatsoever involved, none,” the 8-year-old’s mom, Laura Giacobbe, told ABC 7. “[Rua] neglected these children outside. She neglected them. If your child is being bullied, would you leave your child out with somebody being bullied? That’s the question.”
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident. Investigators continue to investigate.