Ban Damage: Boy Burned

Australia

Boy, 11, burned in vicious attack

Liam Houlihan
November 30, 2004

THREE young men attacked an 11-year-old boy, stubbing a cigarette on his stomach for commenting on the dangers of smoking.

The boy’s attackers threw him against a wall and pinned him to the ground by his throat before burning him.

The victim’s mother said the attack may have been prompted by her son’s comment that the young men smoking thought they looked tough, but were just killing themselves.

The attack happened at the car park of the Mooroolbark McDonald’s on September 21.

The boy’s mother described her son’s attackers as cowardly bullies. “He has a real fear of these boys coming back to get him. I didn’t think this could happen to our boy,” she said.

The boy’s family did not find out about the attack until the boy’s doctor noticed the burn two weeks later. The victim was walking with two friends when the older boys heard his comment, and then attacked him.

The men are aged 16 to 20. The main attacker had short blond hair. The victim and his family do not wish to be identified.

“He was basically so scared he didn’t mention it to anyone — not even his family,” investigating officer Senior Constable Daniel Sciore said.

The boy from outer eastern suburb The Patch, near Monbulk, had told his family his cut and swollen lip — received in the attack — were the result of a fall.

The boy said he and his friends did not report the attack to police because they were scared the attackers might kill them.

Sen-Constable Sciore from Mooroolbark police said he had never seen an attack like it where there was such a huge difference in age between the victim and offender. He described the young victim as polite, well-spoken and well-mannered.

“I saw his injuries two weeks (after the incident) and they were still very serious. The attack can only be described as vicious,” he said.

Sen-Constable Sciore said the scene of the attack would have been very busy and someone would have seen something.

Police currently have no leads and are appealing to anyone with information about the man or his two companions to contact Crime Stoppers or the Mooroolbark police.

“It was in broad daylight. Someone would have seen something. This sort of behaviour is not on and it has got to be stopped,” Sen-Constable Sciore said.
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11539404%5E2862,00.html

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