A ten-year-old boy with a lisp and a hearing impairment was with “friends” when he was bullied and doused with gasoline. What happened next changed all the boys’ lives forever.
Kayden Culp was with “friends” on Sunday in Kerrville, Texas, when the three boys began to bully him.
One boy admitted another doused Kayden with gasoline then set him on fire.
Kayden believed the other boys were his friends, though they “would make fun of him and pick on him and tease him,” Kayden’s mother Tristyn Hatchett told the San Antonio Express-News.
Alike Richardson, Kayden’s aunt, stated: “They make fun of him. He gets beat up in Carver Park every time he’s goes [sic] up there. That’s just the way it is. The kids are really mean.
“We’re hoping it was an accident. Who wants kids to hurt each other like that? What kids think about burning other kids up?”
Kernville authorities continue their investigation and one boy has been “identified as the individual responsible for causing the victim’s severe burns,” the Kerrville Fire Marshal’s Office reported.
Apparently, Kayden had set out that morning to ride bikes with the three boys but the bike ride ended at a shed.
Ashley White, a family friend living near the shack, told My San Antonio she heard firefighter sirens and saw the smoking shed. She noted Kayden had been in the area earlier so she contacted Bobby and Tristyn Hatchett to ensure Kayden was okay.
Kayden’s parents rushed to the scene and were horrified to see it was their son, not the shack, that had been on fire.
Tanya Kasper, Kayden’s aunt, told The Washington Post, “We went out there not knowing it was Kayden on fire.”
Kayden was immediately placed in a coma and was airlifted to the nearest hospital to treat the second and third-degree burns, which covered 20 percent of his body from his bottom lip to his belly button.
In an ambulance ride, Kayden told his family another boy “did this to me – he set me on fire.”
Kasper told Kens5: “We haven’t heard his voice since Sunday….He wore a hearing aid, talked with a lisp…I mean, he was challenged from the get-go. And for him to face this new challenge, it’s going to be overwhelming.”
Tristyn took to Facebook to announce: “This was no accident! I need the police to arrest the … boys involved with the pre-meditated attempted murder of my 10 yr old son Kayden Culp!”
She told Express-News: “There’s no reason they should not already be incarcerated. The other boys who were there [have] been telling kids at school that it was not an accident, that it was intentional.”
Heavy reported one boy “responsible for causing the victim’s severe burns” has been arrested.
Kasper said one of the bullies “had issues being destructive and disruptive,” adding: “His mom even made the comment that she wasn’t able to handle him.”
As investigators continue to work the case, Tristyn has been updating people on Kayden’s status. On Thursday, she shared on YouCaring: “Kayden is doing a little better today . They have taken him off the epinephrine. He was able to stabilize his heart rate and blood pressure on his own all night.
“Still on feeding and breathing machines. He is going in for his second dressing change soon. We will know more about the severity of his burns and lung damage afterwards. His swelling seems to be reducing now. The last dressing change caused him to plummet. I will update this afternoon.
“And we want to thank. everyone, everywhere for all of the thoughts, prayers and support. I can’t express how grateful we are. Truly amazing. We need the good to outweigh the evil.”
A GoFundMe was created for Kayden, where 816 people have donated $31,770 of the $5,000 goal.
Kasper, who created the GoFundMe, wrote: “Money is something that will not fix everything, but it will give the parents a chance to stay beside him and his other siblings.”
Please keep Kayden and his family in prayer.
We thank you for your healing mercies.
Kayden’s life is in your hands.
Bring him physical and mental healing, Lord.
Blanket his family in peace and knowledge that You are God
And nothing is too great for You.
Thank you, Father, for your goodness.
Thank you for your protection.
Send your Holy Spirit to comfort the victims of this horrible event
And send peace and understanding to the other boys and their families.
Turn this ugly situation to Your Glory.
We thank you, Heavenly Father, for your greatness and compassion.
By Kenya Sinclair