Boy’s mother says she was told it was a hate crime
By Meena Hart Duerson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, March 4, 2012, 7:43 PM
A 13-year-old boy who police say was doused with gasoline and lit on fire last week while walking home from school is recovering from first-degree burns to his face and head.
The boy was just two blocks from his home in Kansas City Tuesday when two teenagers began to follow him and then attacked him, his mother, Melissa Coon, said.
Police have described the suspects as black 16-year-olds, while the victim is white.
“We were told it’s a hate crime,” Coon told KTLA.
“They rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open,” Coon told KMBC. “(One of them) poured the gasoline, then flicked the Bic, and said, ‘This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.'”
By lighting the gasoline, the second attacker “produced a large fireball burning the face and hair” of the boy, according to a Kansas City Police Department report obtained by KCTV.
“It was pretty bad stuff,” Detective Stacey Taylor told the TV station, adding that police are concerned the boy may have suffered damage to his eyes and lungs.
Coon said her son put out the fire with his shirt and called 911 himself. He was rushed to the hospital and was treated for his injuries.
She believes the students also attend East High School with her son, and said he will not be returning to the school. She also told KMBC her traumatized family plans now plans to move.
“My 5-year-old came in and asked me, ‘Mom, am I going to get set on fire today?'” Coon said. “I was in tears.”