Two children are facing criminal charges for allegedly pouring acid onto numerous slides at a playground in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in June, hurting two siblings.
The two kids, whose identities were not disclosed due to their age, are each charged with four counts of assault and battery on a child with injury, four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and vandalism, MassLive reported, citing an announcement by the office of Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni. (RELATED: As Juvenile Crime Skyrockets To Record Levels, States Seek To Crack Down)
First responders were called to the playground after reports of a suspicious substance on three slides, according to a Longmeadow Fire Department statement.
Firefighters determined the chemical to be muriatic acid, which is commonly used as for cleaning purposes, per the statement.
The Longmeadow Fire Department stated the acid was stolen from an adjacent pool facility. (RELATED: Two 12-Year-Old Kids Allegedly Try To Set Fire To Catholic Church, Burn A Bible In The Process)
Sunday morning, June 11, an unknown hazardous material was found on the Bliss Park playground structure. The State Police Hazmat Team, Longmeadow Police, Fire and DPW, are investigating. Bliss playground will be closed until further notice. There is no threat to the public. pic.twitter.com/aSXOjhOCex
— Town of Longmeadow (@LongmeadowMA) June 11, 2023
Local investigators found someone had broken into the basement of the pool building where the chemicals were housed. The suspects allegedly hopped a couple of fences and snuck into the room via the ventilation shaft and took the acid, the fire department said.
The siblings that experienced injury from the by the acid were 1-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.
Longmeadow playground slide doused with acid, two injured — https://t.co/NXkIoISEQ3
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) June 13, 2023
The victims’ mother, Ashley Thielen, told MassLive her daughter’s sleeve seemed sticky.
When she tugged on the sleeve, the fabric split open since the “chemical burned right through it,” Thielen said.
At that point the 2-year-old cried out “Mommy, it hurts” as she pointed toward the back of her leg, Mass Live noted.
“Our collective effort to charge those we believe are responsible should make clear that protecting this community’s children is among our highest priorities,” Gulluni said, per Mass Live. “Whether the threat and harm caused were intended as pranks or malicious acts, it will not be tolerated.”