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29th Apr 2022

Schoolboy set on fire by bully with petrol soaked tennis ball ‘scarred for life’

April Curtin

Dominick Krankall (GoFundMe)

His family claim it is not the first time the alleged bully has put him in hospital

A young boy remains in hospital after a bully set him on fire with a tennis ball soaked in petrol.

Dominick Krankall, six, was playing in his back garden with his neighbours when the incident took place on Sunday. The school boy, from Connecticut in the US, was left with third-degree burns as a result.

His sister Kayla Deegan told WNBC New York via NBC: “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 said a neighbour, aged 8, got into a shed on the property and he somehow gained access to gasoline and lighters. He then called Deegan’s brother over.

“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,” Deegan added.

Dominick Krankall was left with third-degree burns (GoFundMe)

The six-year-old was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital and admitted to the burn unit just before 4pm.

Thankfully, the boy is expected to recover, hospital officials said, though he is currently still on the burn unit being treated for his injuries.

However Dominick’s family claim that this isn’t the first time the alleged bully has put him in hospital.

Dominick’s sister 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.”

When contacted at their home, the family of the boy who allegedly set Dominick on fire did not wish to address the incident, WNBC reports.

The Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit is investigating the incident alongside the Bridgeport Fire Marshal’s Office, a state police spokesperson also told WNBC. Though as of Wednesday, nobody has yet been charged and the eight-year-old boy and his family have not been identified by authorities.

Dominick’s sister has since set up a GoFundMe to help cover hospital bills and raise funds to allow the family to move away from the neighbourhood. It had a target of $50,000 (£39,000) but the fundraiser has already raised a whopping $471,000 (£375,000).

Kayla wrote on the fundraising page that her brother “could’ve died”, adding: “he’s going to be scarred for life mentally and physically.”

Despite this, the family remain grateful that Dominick does not require more intense treatment.

“He is a trooper,” said the boy’s father, Aaron Krankall, in a teary interview with News 12.

“Thank God he doesn’t need surgery,” his mother added.

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