The mere thought of a child getting bullied is something many parents worry about when they send their kids off to school. But for one little boy from Bridgeport, Connecticut, his bully doesn’t just ride the same school bus – he actually lives downstairs.
According to NBC New York, 6-year-old Dominick “Dom” Krankall is recovering from intense, third-degree burns this week after a neighborhood bully threw a literal “fireball” in his face and set him on fire Sunday afternoon. The boy, whose parents reportedly own the multifamily home where the incident occurred, is believed to have tortured Dominick many times in recent months. But now that the story is beginning to make headlines, people across the country are lending their support to Dominick.
Dominick’s sister, Kayla Deegan, says the abuse had been going on for a while before last weekend’s incident.
“My little brother Dom has been bullied for a while by the neighbors, [but on Sunday] it escalated to a deadly intent,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page launched Monday.
Then, in disturbing detail, she described how an 8-year-old neighbor “covered a ball in gasoline, lit it on fire, and threw it” at Dominick after luring him over.
“Dominick, MY 6-YEAR-OLD BROTHER could’ve died,” Kayla declared. “All in the matter of SECONDS.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JVTjPL9aOoQ
The horrifying attack happened while Dom was playing with several other kids in a shared backyard.
Preliminary reports indicate that up to four children were seen playing unattended in the backyard that day, including the 8-year-old boy who’d been bullying Dominick, according to ABC 7.
At some point that afternoon, the 8-year-old allegedly broke into a shed on the property, which is on Louisiana Avenue in Bridgeport. And apparently, that’s where he got his hands on some very dangerous items.https://www.youtube.com/embed/7tGP3jeLPto
“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,” Deegan told NBC New York.
Then, she said, the 8-year-old ran away and watched her little brother burn.
Dom’s mother knew something was wrong as soon as she heard her son cry out.
“I heard him screaming, ‘Mommy help me, they set me on fire,'” Maria Rua told ABC 7 of the horrifying incident.
Dominick was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital, where emergency workers did everything they could to stabilize him and treat his burns. But according to Dom’s sister, he is still in pretty bad shape — and is terrified to return home.
“Even though Dominick can’t talk because he’s in a lot of pain and all swollen, he said to my mom, ‘Please don’t take me back there,'” Kayla shared of her brother’s fears.
After several days in the hospital, doctors have determined the boy suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face and leg, and estimate he needs at least another week of care before he’s released.
At the moment, the family is trying to remain strong for the little boy, but it certainly isn’t easy.
“He’s going to be scarred for life, mentally and physically,” said Kayla, who has raised more than $472,000 on the GoFundMe page since Monday.
The goal is for the family to move elsewhere, as soon as possible, in what will hopefully be a safer and more stable environment for little Dominick. But of course, a move like that takes money — and right now, the family needs all the help they can get.
“Anything helps, even a share,” Kayla wrote on the campaign page. “Thank you all for the support. I’m sure Dominick appreciates it. This is extremely unfair and shouldn’t ever happen to ANY CHILD!!! We need justice for our little Dominick.”
According to some reports, however, the 8-year-old’s mother doesn’t quite see things the same way.
Laura Giacobbe, whose 8-year-old and 11-year-old son were both in the backyard at the time, insists there was “no bullying whatsoever involved.”
Instead, Giacobbe accused Dominick’s mother of being the one to blame.
“She neglected these children outside,” said Giacobbe, who insisted that Rua had agreed to watch the children while she went out. According to Giacobbe, the children were left unattended, which was when one or more of them got into the shed and began playing with the gasoline and lighters.
“She neglected them,” Giacobbe stated. “If your child is being bullied, would you leave your child out with somebody being bullied? That’s the question.”My 4-Year-Old Helped Coach Me Through My Dramatic Birth & It’s a Moment I’ll Never ForgetMy Son’s Mom Insists I Give Her Extra Money To Cover Son’s Huge Puberty Appetite
That said, Dominick’s family is not backing down.
“My son has been bullied by this child for a year,” Rua told ABC 7. “That day, they purposefully threw a gasoline-saturated ball that they lit on fire at my son’s face. They called his name so he would turn around. They threw it at Dominick and left him outside alone to die.
“His face is about twice the size it normally is,” the mother added. “He’s swollen with blisters. You can’t even see his beautiful eyes anymore.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1519617658995589121&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fcafemom.com%2Fnews%2Fconnecticut-boy-burned-bully-sets-fire&sessionId=a27c53a0f7ab4122c54780c8afe2d5fb6ab07b66&siteScreenName=cafemom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px
The boy’s father, Aaron Krankall, agreed, adding that just last month, his son suffered a concussion after being pushed by the same 8-year-old boy who allegedly set him on fire.
“They can go outside, they’ll be playing basketball for 5 or 10 minutes, and everything seems grand,” Krankall said, according to ABC 7. “And then maybe 10, 15 minutes goes by and someone gets pushed, someone gets tripped, someone gets hurt. And this has been going on and on, and I am so sick of it … I will not stop, though, until this kid gets put away because this is not OK. I need justice for my son.”