US girl, 12, charged with criminal assault after throwing acid on another girl, 11, during fight
A playground squabble in a Detroit park escalated into an attack involving acid being thrown, leaving an 11-year-old girl with severe burns and her 12-year-old assailant slapped with criminal charges by a local county court on Tuesday.
The older girl, who was not named, was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm and felonious assault, said a prosecutor for the county of Wayne, Detroit in the mid-western US state of Michigan.
The attack happened at a playground attached to a local elementary school on July 9, with a fight involving a few girls that led to the 12-year-old throwing the liquid at Deaira Summers and her cousins and sisters. The cousins and sisters were not injured.
Deaira, 11, was able to run home crying but had to be hospitalised in the burn unit for four days.
She suffered second and third degree burns on her back, legs and arms and may also require a skin graft for her shoulder, according to her family.
“It is going to scar her for life,” said Deaira’s mother, Ms Domonique Summers. “It was a traumatising event that took place, and she’s going to remember this for the rest of her life,” she told local broadcaster Local 4.
Ms Summers said her family is looking for the aggressor’s mother to be charged as well, alleging that she provided her daughter with the acid.
“If a mum gave acid to her daughter to use as a weapon, then that mum should also be arrested and charged,” she said.
A warrant request on the attacker’s mother is being prepared, local media reported.
“I can’t imagine that. That’s the same thing as giving them a gun, a knife – that’s a weapon,” Mr Billy Summers, Deaira’s grandfather said. “What adult would do that?”
The Summers family alleged that the attacker had gone home after the playground fight to tell her mother, who then supplied her with the acid she doused on Deaira.
They alleged that the mother was a bystander during the fight involving one of Deaira’s cousins and the attacker. Deaira had only returned to the park to retrieve her purse when she was attacked.
In a crowdfunding page Deaira’s family set up to offset her medical costs, the family said they are considering relocating as the attacker and her mother had not been “apprehended”.
As of Wednesday, the family had raised just over US$19,000 (S$25,180), nearly double their initial target.
“This is an extremely troubling set of allegations. Instant horrible decision-making can have lifelong
effects on others. There is no excuse for this,” said county prosecutor Kym Worthy in court documents released on Tuesday.
Local police are currently investigating the case, with the 12-year-old girl ordered to stay at home with a tether to monitor her whereabouts on top of a US$10,000 bond.
Her next court hearing has been set for Aug 1.