New video casts doubt on bullying claims of Connecticut boy who suffered burns
Recently released video appears to disprove a Connecticut mom’s claims that her son was targeted by bullies when he was punched in the face with a flaming ball, instead showing an apparent accident as kids play dangerously with fire.
backyard surveillance images depicts the events of April 24, when six-year-old Dominick Justino Krankall suffered second and third degree burns while playing with other children in Bridgeport.
Released after police concluded there was no crime in the case, the video shows a group of boys, including Dominick, pouring gasoline on a football, setting it on fire and then kicking it across the yard. .
“They were backyard guys,” Laura Giacobbe, who released the video after her son was accused of bullying Dominick, said in an interview with WFSB-TV†
Surveillance footage from the backyard shows the events of April 24, when six-year-old Dominick Justino Krankall (left and right after recovery) suffered second- and third-degree burns
Video shows a group of boys, including Dominick, dousing a football with gasoline, setting it on fire, then kicking it around the yard
Dominick is seen shortly after he caught fire just out of camera view
The video also seems to show one of the boys next door trying to put out the flames
Dominick’s mother Maria Rua had previously claimed in media interviews that her son had been deliberately set on fire by neighborhood bullies, and told DailyMail.com last month that he ran home screaming, ‘Mom, they set me on fire. .’
The mother and other family members claimed the other boys set fire to a gasoline-soaked ball and threw it in Dominick’s face – a scene the newly released video does not depict.
Rua also claimed that her son had been terrorized by their eight-year-old neighbor and his 11-year-old brother for more than a year, without naming the children.
“These kids are bullies and abuse each other. They even threatened to set me on fire. They are angry children and they are going to hurt someone,” she said at the time.
The case received national attention, and a GoFundMe page for Dominick — which prominently praised the family’s harassment allegations — has raised more than $500,000.
There was even a parade of first responders in Dominick’s honor as he recovered in the hospital, and the young boy was invited onto the field for a New York Yankees game.
Dominick and his mother, Maria Rua, are seen on the left. Neighbor Laura Giacobbe (right) says new video refutes claims her sons deliberately set Dominick on fire
Dominick, surrounded by all his favorite stuffed animals, is recovering in hospital
Dominick gets a piggyback from his dad, Aaron Krankall, while waving hello
But now neighbor’s mother Giacobbe says the video evidence proves the bullying claims were a fabrication.
Although the moment Dominick catches fire is not visible in the video, the video appears to show one of the neighbor boys filling a cup with gasoline, setting it down and setting it on fire.
Dominick is seen approaching the area with the cup out of the picture, then stumbling back into the frame with his cloths on fire. One of the boys next door tries to extinguish the flames in his face.
“Dominick wasn’t left there to die. My 11-year-old son Lorenzo rescued him, taking his bare hands and putting out the fire in his face,” Giacobbe said.
Giacobbe said she wasn’t home at the time, but her upstairs neighbor Rua would babysit their four boys.
Photos show Dominick has recovered well from the horrific ordeal
Dominick, who likes to be outdoors, smiles in photos after making a big catch in a photo taken a few days before being badly burned
Giacobbe’s family lawyer says they are even considering legal action after the bullying allegations sparked a frenzy of threats from an online mob.
“The police had to sit outside the house overnight to make sure nothing happened. They said the house would be set on fire, they would drag my son and me down the street and make us suffer,” Giacobbe said.
However, Dominick’s family says their information was based on what the boy told them about the incident, pointing out that key moments of the incident are not visible on the video.
Photos of Dominick posted from the hospital this week show he is recovering well from the incident, with only a few red spots on his forehead.