Anyone with children and a good memory knows that kids are capable of unspeakable acts of cruelty. However, in the rush to judgment over the case of a Texas special needs boy who suffered third degree burns over 20% of his body, authorities say they have yet to uncover proof that the incident was a premeditated attack by the other three boys present when it happened. In a news conference yesterday, Kerrville Fire Chief Danny Smith said “Based on the results of our preliminary investigation, it does not appear that this event was premeditated or that there was any intent to harm any of the juveniles present.”
The family of 10-year-old victim Kayden Culp, though, thinks otherwise. Despite official statements that the boys were all friends, Kayden's aunt, Tanya Kasper, said in an interview with local KENS news team, "They weren't friends," adding, "At least one of them we know about had a past with him. He didn't like Kayden." Kayden, who wore a hearing aid and talked with a lisp and has shown signs of autism, was a frequent target of bullying, according to his family. They say that on the way to the hospital, Kayden identified who set him on fire and said he needed to go to jail, which is what his family wishes for all three of the boys involved.
According to authorities, the boys went to a shed in the woods near their home last Sunday. While there, they started a fire. One of the boys threw an “accelerant” onto the fire, and the container it was in ignited. The boy then threw the container, which “inadvertently” hit Kayden, causing his injuries. The boy who threw the container has already been arrested and charged with arson, a felony.
Kayden is currently in a medically induced coma, recovering from his wounds. He has third degree burns on his face, neck, chest and arms and is also fighting off infections. All that said, his family says he is responding well to treatment and they are optimistic about his recovery. Donation pages up in his name have already received almost $250,000 to help aid in his recovery and treatment.