Update: Police in Bridgeport, Conn., have examined footage to see what they could find out about a 6-year-old who was seriously burned in late April—and their assessment is that there's no evidence from that footage that Dominick Krankall was deliberately attacked, per NBC News. Authorities are said to have viewed video of four kids—ages 6, 7, 8, and 11—playing together in a backyard, and although the younger children were seen messing around with fire and gasoline, "there is nothing on the video portraying any of the children deliberately injuring the other," per a police statement. Dominick's parents claim that the 8-year-old had lit a tennis ball doused in gas on fire and threw it at their son, severely burning his face. Police say evidence was sent to the state's forensics lab, reports WFSB. They note, however, that the investigation isn't over, and that more interviews will be carried out. Our original story from April 28 follows:
A family in Connecticut says a bully put their 6-year-old boy in the hospital for the second time within months—this time with serious burns to his face. Dominick Krankall of Bridgeport was playing in the backyard of his home on Sunday when "the bully called his name and lured him over around the corner," sister Kayla Deegan tells NECN. "In a matter of seconds he came back around the corner screaming, saying 'Mommy, they lit me on fire!'" Deegan says an 8-year-old boy who lives in a unit below the family had entered a shed on the property, gaining access to gasoline and lighters.
"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 says. Dominick was rushed to a hospital with second- and third-degree burns to his face and leg. Photos show his swollen face covered in bandages. "Just watching him in pain, it's really been tough," father Aaron Krankall tells WFSB, noting his son is likely to spend a week more in the hospital. Police say they're reviewing security camera footage as they investigate "the exact cause of the burn injuries," per WABC and NECN. They only note "up to four unattended children were seen playing with gasoline and lighting objects on fire."
Laura Giacobbe, the mother of the other boy, tells WABC that "there was no bullying, whatsoever." She adds Dominick's mother, Maria Rua, was supposed to be watching the children at the time. Krankall counters that Giacobbe's son should be "put away" as he sent Dominick to the hospital with a concussion just last month. "Again, the mother refuses to admit her kid did it," Deegan tells NECN. The family has now received more than $345,000 in donations to pay for Dominick's medical care and family moving expenses so they can find a new home. He "could've died" and is "going to be scarred for life mentally and physically," Deegan writes on the GoFundMe page. (Read more bullying stories.)