A New York City youth tried to kill herself after pouring boiling hot water on her friend as a prank.
The incident occurred on Aug. 7 at around 4 a.m. during a sleepover at Shernett Panton's home, the New York Daily News reported. Aniya Grant Stuart, 12, waited until her friend, 11-year-old Jamoneisha Merritt, fell asleep before filling a cup with boiling hot water and then pouring it on her head, face, neck and chest.
"Her friends wanted to play the hot water challenge and that's what happened," the victim’s mother, Ebony Merritt, posted on social media, alongside photos of her daughter screaming in pain as doctors treated her burns.
Jamoneisha suffered second-degree burns to her face, shoulders and back. Some of the burns are so severe that she has skin missing. She is currently in the intensive care unit at a local hospital in Harlem.
According to Panton, Ebony appeared outside of her home and threatened her.
“I’m going to cut your face, you f**king b***h!” Ebony reportedly screamed at Panton. “I’m going to burn your f**king house down! You let this happen to my daughter!”
Ebony also allegedly choked Aniya over the incident, and punched her 14-year-old sister, Shawna, in the face, the Panton family said.
“Now I’m getting text messages from her nieces or maybe her cousins,” Shawna told the New York Daily News. “It makes me feel scared.”
Aniya is currently in a different hospital in the Bronx on suicide watch after attempting to kill herself with a knife. Panton said her daughter tried to take her own life when she saw the extent of the injuries she had inflicted on Jamoneisha.
Panton said Aniya poured the hot water on Jamoneisha after she threw cold water on her earlier that day.
"They always prank each other. My daughter was sleeping and Jamoni poured cold water on Aniya," Panton explained. "My daughter was like, 'OK, if you’re gonna do a prank on me, I’m gonna prank you back.'
"But my daughter -- I don’t know what she was thinking -- boiled hot water and poured it on Jamoni’s face."
"What she did was really wrong, but it’s too much right now," Panton added. "My daughter is 12. Everybody makes mistakes."
Jamoneisha is expected to make a full recovery. She is doing better, but her mother said she is still traumatized from the incident.
"She's very sad. She's emotionally messed up. She don't understand why they did that to her. She thought they was her friends," Ebony told Spectrum News 1. "I was told that they didn't like her. And they just been bullying her. They've been on Snapchat. It's been going on several times. The girl admitted it. 'I don't like her. I wanted to do it.'"