Newly surfaced video shows a 6-year-old Connecticut boy kicking a flaming soccer ball before being severely burned — contradicting his family’s claims he was deliberately set on fire.
Cops have confirmed there was no evidence of foul play.
Dominick Krankall, 6, suffered second- and third-degree burns in late April after an incident in which his family claimed an 8-year-old neighbor grabbed gasoline and a lighter from a shed before coaxing the boy to come near him.
Aaron Krankall, Dominick’s father, said his son told him some boys had set him on fire.
But video released Friday by one of the accused boys’ families shows four children, including Dominick, lighting fires and kicking a flaming soccer ball in a Bridgeport backyard, where the 6-year-old even wiped the flammable remnants on his pants.
“They were interacting in the backyard being boys,” said Laura Giacobbe, a mom of one of the other kids, to WFSB.
Dominick caught fire after either kicking or stepping on a plastic cup filled with gasoline that was on fire. But nothing in the video shows the other boys targeting Dominick, who has been released from the hospital, police said.
The footage shows Dominick stumbling to the ground but not being doused with any gasoline, WFSB reported.
“Dominick was not left there to die,” Giacobbe said. “My 11-year-old son, Lorenzo, saved him, took his bare hands and took the fire out on his face.”
Police said June 10 that no evidence was found that Dominick had been bullied or deliberately targeted by the other children.
“The video footage recorded four children (ages six, seven, eight and eleven) playing together in the rear yard of the residence,” Bridgeport police said. “At least three of the children (ages six, seven and eight) were observed playing with fire and gasoline.”
Police said the investigation is still ongoing, with additional interviews needed to be conducted.
Giacobbe says the new footage clears her son. The family had been getting threats from strangers after the story, WFSB reported.
“The police department had to sit in front of the home overnight to make sure nothing happened,” she told the station. “It was stated the house would be lit on fire, they were going to drag my son and myself down the street and let us suffer from the pain.”
Giacobbe is now considering legal action and has hired a lawyer, who said Dominick wasn’t lured by “some pyromaniac bullies,” WFSB reported.
“For closure, for the truth now, for closure, I want this out there so I can have this out there,” Giacobbe said. “Come out with the truth and not use their child for money. This is sickening, very sad that you can wrap a child and lie all over the world.”
An online fundraiser for Dominick has raised nearly $600,000. He thanked his supporters in a video posted last week to a Facebook page dedicated to his recovery.
“Thanks for all the prayers that made me feel so well and all the gifts,” he said. “And thanks for the money to buy a house. I love you all.”