A 10-year-old special-needs boy is on life support after bullies allegedly lured him to a field, doused him with petrol and set him on fire on Sunday.Kayden Culp of Kerrville, Texas, has burns over 20 percent of his body from his ears to his navel, and his organs are failing, according to the family.
One unidentified child has been charged with arson following the incident and is “responsible for causing the victim’s severe burns,” according to a statement from the local fire marshal. He is one of three boys — ages 9, 10 and 11 — who were taken into custody following the shocking attack.
The heartbroken family believes the victim — who exhibits autistic tendencies and has trouble speaking and hearing — was intentionally targeted. “The other kids are saying that he was going to be riding his bike like he always is, my nephew Kayden is going to be riding his bike, and they said we’re going to grab him and take him inside and burn him,” Kayden’s aunt Kelly Mack told News4 San Antonio.
The boy’s mother, Tristyn Hatchett, 29, told the Houston Chronicle: “He considered these guys his friends, but they would make fun of him and pick on him and tease him. He was usually the brunt of that kind of joke, but he kept playing with them.”