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'Mommy, they lit me on fire!': Boy, 6, severely burned after bully hurls FLAMING tennis ball at him

The Connecticut boy is being treated for second and third-degree burns to his face and leg
UPDATED JUN 22, 2022
Dominick Krankall was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital where he is now recovering (GoFundMe)
Dominick Krankall was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital where he is now recovering (GoFundMe)

Update: A recent video, shared by one of the accused boys’ families, shows four children, including Dominick Krankall, lighting fires and kicking a flaming soccer ball in a backyard. The cops have also confirmed that there was no foul play. According to the police, the 6-year-old boy caught fire either by kicking or stepping on a plastic cup filled with gasoline that was on fire. But the other boys were not targeting him.

BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT: Dominick Krankall, a six-year-old boy from Connecticut, was hospitalized with severe burns to his face and leg after a neighborhood child allegedly doused a tennis ball with gasoline, lit it on fire, and threw it at his face. According to family members, Krankall was playing in his backyard in Bridgeport on Sunday, April 24, when the 'bully' — an unnamed 8-year-old boy — called him to another area of the yard and around a corner.

“As soon as he walked down the stairs, the bully called his name and lured him over around the corner,” Krankall sister, Kayla Deegan, told NBC New York. “In a matter of seconds he came back around the corner screaming, saying, ‘Mommy, they lit me on fire! They lit me on fire!’”


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Kayla said that the child had bullied Krankall in the past and this act was deliberate. "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. “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.” Krankall was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital where he is now recovering.

Krankall's mother, Maria Rua, suggested that her son is lucky to be alive. “My son has been bullied by this child for a year," Rua told WTNH-TV. "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."

Kayla has set up a GoFundMe to seek help in her brother's recovery. "My little brother Dom has been bullied for a while by the tenants downstairs. It escalated to a deadly intent. Dominick, MY 6 YEAR OLD BROTHER could’ve died. The kid covered a ball in gasoline, lit it on fire, and threw it at him. All in the matter of SECONDS. Dom has second and third degree burns on his face and leg. He’s going to be scarred for life mentally and physically," the page says.

Dominick Krankall (GoFundMe)

"We are looking for help for a new home because it is not safe here. This kid downstairs has gotten away with too much and has a history of bullying. The mother thinks he is innocent. The family thinks it’s a joke. 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.” Anything helps, even a share. 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," it adds.

Kayla later updated the information on the page, saying her brother is now doing better. "Dominick is doing a little better. Yesterday was the first time he actually was able to get a few bites of food past his extremely swollen lips and into his mouth. He could only handle a few bites, but that is some good news. He will sip soup out of a straw as well. He’s such a tough little cookie. The bravest 6 year old i’ve ever known. Being an older sister and so close to your siblings, seeing my baby brother like this is absolutely heart wrenching. No baby should have to lay in a hospital bed like this. Dominick is such a happy go lucky boy and EVERYONE was his friend, no matter what. All he ever wanted to do was ride his bike, play basketball, and go fishing," she wrote.

"Now he has to lay in bed for MONTHS until he’s even able to walk outside again. It breaks my heart over and over again. My poor baby is in pain everyday and there isn’t much we can do. Thank you ALL for everything. Sharing, donating, commenting… every little bit helps get his story out," she added.

Meanwhile, the mother of the eight-year-old who allegedly threw the gasoline-soaked tennis ball at Krankall reportedly denies any wrongdoing by her son, WNBC reported

The Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit is investigating the incident alongside the Bridgeport Fire Marshal’s Office, a state police spokesperson told WNBC.

At the time this article was written, $254,759 USD had been raised of the $50,000 goal.