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Youths allegedly set fire to boy's feet


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Youths allegedly set fire to boy's feet

Canadian Press

May. 23, 2005 04:45 PM

WINNIPEG - Police say a 10-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after being deliberately set on fire by three youths.

In an incident that happened at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, Kasey Richard was allegedly held down, had his shoes doused in lighter fluid, and lit on fire by three youths.

The youths alleged to be involved are two boys, aged 14 and 11, and a 13-year-old girl.

"He's in a lot of pain right now," said the victim's mother, Pearl Thompson, outside of Children's Hospital in Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon. "He has second-degree burns on his leg."

Thompson stood beside the victim's aunt, who held up a picture of the boy for reporters and photographers. Kasey Richard also held a media conference with his parents at the hospital on Monday.

Friends of the victim said they saw youths playing with lighter fluid and matches and approached them to watch what they were doing. The younger children say the older youths were putting the fluid on their shoes and lighting them on fire.

"They said do you want to try, and I said no, and then they grabbed my friend," said one of the victim's friends, in an interview with the Winnipeg Sun.

The boy then said his friend's shoes were doused with a flammable fluid and set on fire.

Police said the 13-year-old girl allegedly lit the lighter fluid and Richard's shoes and pants caught fire.

"Frankly, I myself have not seen a case like this," said police Sgt. Shelly Glover. "It's very alarming and very surprising and we will be working with these families."

The suspects helped extinguish the flames. Before leaving, the girl allegedly threatened to harm the three young boys if they told anyone about what happened, said Glover.

Two youths have been charged by police and were taken into custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre.

A 13-year-old girl was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and three counts of uttering threats. A 14-year-old boy has also been charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

An 11-year-old boy alleged to have been involved in the incident cannot be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Thompson said her son will likely remain in hospital for a few weeks, but his mood lifted after receiving a visit from the friends who helped put out the fire and called police.

The parents, who were at the hospital all Saturday night with their son, said they'll be moving out of the city once Kasey has recovered.


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