In April, the family of a 6-year-old Dominick Krankall accused other neighborhood children of a bullying attack after Krankall suffered second- and third-degree burns, but newly released surveillance footage casts doubt on the family’s allegation.
Dominick Krankall was reportedly playing in the backyard at his family’s home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with neighborhood children when the incident occurred. The children, who were unattended, were reportedly lighting things on fire with gasoline, and Krankall’s mother and sister claimed the 6-year-old was set on fire by bullies who threw a tennis ball at him. However, those claims have come into question after police said there was no wrongdoing, and footage of the incident was released to the public, according to the Daily Mail.
“Newly released video appears to disprove a Connecticut mother’s claims that her son was targeted by bullies when he was hit in the face with a burning ball, instead showing a seeming accident as kids play dangerously with fire,” the Mail reported.
The video shows three young boys playing in the family’s backyard, including Krankall, and pouring gasoline on a soccer ball, not a tennis ball. Krankall is then seen on camera with his head and lower body on fire. One of the neighbor boys appears to help Krankall by using his hands to smother the fire on Krankall’s head.
After the incident, Krankall’s mother Maria Rua told ABC News that the other neighborhood kids “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.”
The incident and ensuing bullying allegations gained national attention, and Krankall’s family raised more than $500,000 through GoFundMe.
Now, the newly released video footage of the family’s backyard appears to show Krankall was burned in an accident, not a targeted bullying attack. The video also clearly shows one of the boys helping Krankall, not abandoning him as Rua claimed.
The family of one of the boys accused of bullying Krankall is reportedly threatening to sue over the allegations.
“Dominick was not left there to die. My 11-year-old son Lorenzo saved him, took his bare hands and took the fire out on his face,” said Laura Giacobbe, the mother of one of the boys playing with Krankall.
Giacobbe said the bullying allegations against her son resulted in threats made against her family. “The police department had to sit in front of the home overnight, to make sure nothing happened. It was stated the house would be lit on fire, they were going to drag my son and myself down the street and let us suffer from the pain,” she said.
Krankall’s family said that “their information was based on what the boy told them about the incident, and pointed out that key moments of the incident are not visible on the video,” the mail wrote.
Krankall is reportedly recovering well from his burns.
Ashe Schow contributed to this report.