Police investigate burning of 13-year-old boy in Kansas City

Kansas City StarMarch 6, 2012 

Kansas City police on Monday said they are continuing to investigate the reported assault of a teenager who suffered gasoline burns last week.

The 13-year-old boy told police that two older youths accosted him as he walked home from school on Feb. 28. As he reached the front door of his east Kansas City home, one grabbed him in a bear hug while another picked up a gas can that was in front of the house and said, “This is what you get,” according to the initial police report.

The boy began struggling over the gas can, which fell, spilling gas, according to the report. A youth then lit the gas, which flashed into a fireball, burning the 13-year-old’s face and singeing his hair, the report said.

On Monday, the boy’s father said his son is doing well. He said the skin is peeling on his son’s nose and he suffered a burn injury in his nostrils and upper lip.

Because the attackers are black and the burned youth is white, some media outlets have reported the incident as a possible hate crime. However, Kansas City police have said since the incident first was reported that they do not think it was a hate crime.

The boy’s father said Monday that whatever the motive, no one had the right to harm his son.

“I don’t know whether it was racial or not,” the father said. “But it was wrong.”

Read the complete story at kansascity.com

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