A 12-year-old girl is in police custody after she poured boiling water on an 11-year-old girl at a sleepover in the Bronx Monday morning, leaving her with severe burns, police said.
The victim, Jamoneisha Merritt, remains in the burn unit of a Harlem hospital with second-degree burns to her face, shoulders, and back after her classmate allegedly poured boiling water into a cup and splashed it on her face, the Daily Mail reported.
Police said Merritt was sleeping over at a friend’s house near Findlay Avenue and East 166th Street when the classmate poured the scalding water on her while she was asleep.
Yolanda Richardson, Merritt’s cousin, said Merritt and the 12-year-old had argued before she went to sleep.
“Her and her friend got into an argument and she told her if she goes to sleep, they were going to do something to her,” Richardson told NBC New York.
Police said Merritt was jolted awake by the scorching water, which severely burned the upper half of her body.
“She said she was screaming that it was burning,” Richardson said.
Medics rushed Merritt to Harlem Hospital, where doctors determined she suffered second-degree burns to her face, back, shoulders, neck, and chest. She remains in the hospital’s burn unit in serious but stable condition.
Merritt’s mother, Ebony, said she made the graphic photos of her daughter’s injuries public because she wants to make others aware of the dangers of a prank called the “hot water challenge” that has been circulating on social media.
“Her friends wanted to play the hot water challenge, and that’s what happened,” Ebony said.
Ebony added that her daughter is “confused” and “upset” that the people she thought were her friends would do such a thing.
“She don’t understand why they did that to her. She thought they was her friends,” she told Spectrum News NY1. “I was told that they didn’t like her. And they just been bullying her.”
The prank is similar to another variation of the “hot water challenge” where participants drink boiling water through a straw.
Eight-year-old Ki’ari Pope died this month after attempting to imitate a video where others carried out the challenge.