A 6-year-old boy in Connecticut has been hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns after his family said a bully covered a tennis ball with gasoline, lit it on fire and threw it at his face.
The incident unfolded Sunday afternoon when Dominick Krankall was playing in the backyard of his family’s Bridgeport home on Louisiana Avenue with other children who live near them.
Preliminary reports indicate that up to four unattended children were seen playing with gasoline and lighting objects on fire the day of the incident, the Bridgeport Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security said in a statement.
Dominick’s sister told NBC New York her brother was playing in the backyard when “the bully called his name and lured him over around the corner.”
“In a matter of seconds he came back around the corner screaming, saying, ‘Mommy, they lit me on fire,'” the sister, Kayla Deegan, said, according to the news station.
An 8-year-old neighbor entered a shed on the property and somehow got ahold of gasoline and lighters and called Dominick over, Deegan said.
“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,” she said.
Dominick was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday. Photos of the boy show his face nearly completely wrapped in bandages. The parts of his face that are visible are swollen.
Hospital officials said he is expected to recover, according to NBC New York.
The cause of the burn injuries remains under investigation. As of Tuesday night, no charges had been filed.
This wasn’t the first time the bully has targeted Dominick, Deegan said.
“Two months ago under the bully’s mother’s supervision, he was pushed into a wall and fell to the floor. And again, the mother refuses to admit her kid did it,” she said.
When NBC New York reached the family of the other boy at their home, they did not wish to address the incident.
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s sickening to know the family. There’s nothing being done about this,” Deegan said. “This needs to be seen everywhere so everyone knows Dom’s story and what he had to go through.”