New Jersey

12-Year-Old Arrested After Pouring Boiling Water on Girl at Sleepover: Police

The family of the victim, Jamoneisha Merritt, describes her as a joyful, fun and energetic girl

What to Know

  • An 11-year-old girl suffered 2nd-degree burns to much of her upper body when one of her classmates poured boiling water on her, police say
  • The girl was sleeping when another girl, 12, poured the boiling water on her, according to police
  • The girl was admitted to a burn unit; the 12-year-old was arrested and charged with assault

Warning: Video contains graphic photos.

A 12-year-old girl was arrested after police say she dumped boiling water on an 11-year-old girl, leaving her severely burned, at a sleepover in the Bronx earlier this week, police said. 

Jamoneisha Merritt was at a sleepover at her friend's house near Findlay Avenue and East 166th Street early Monday morning when one of her classmates got boiling water and poured it in a cup, according to police. 

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Jamoneisha's cousin, Yolanda Richardson, said Jamoneisha and the 12-year-old had been arguing. 

"Her and her friend got into an argument and she told her if she goes to sleep they were going to do something to her," Yolanda said. 

Jamoneisha was sleeping when the 12-year-old girl, who has not been identified, poured the cup of scalding water on her, according to police. 

She was jolted awake by the scorching water, which burned much of her upper body, including her face, back, shoulders, neck and chest, police said. 

"She said she was screaming that it was burning," Yolanda said.

First responders rushed her to Harlem Hospital in serious but stable condition. She was admitted to a burn unit with second-degree burns.

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Her family said she's in a lot of pain and is emotionally scarred by the incident. They said they don't want to show Jamoneisha the extent of her burns and what she looks like right now, but photos provided to News 4 show her with skin missing from her face, shoulders and neck. 

"I could only be with her for a little bit, because I can't hold myself together," Yolanda said. "I don't want her to see me cry." 

Jamoneisha's family says she is joyful, fun and energetic. They say the boiling water may have burned her face, but her spirit has not been extinguished. 

"She's just a bundle of joy, you can't be around her and be sad," her cousin, Starshanae Nixon, said. 

It's unclear how long Jamoneisha will be in the hospital or what her prognosis is. 

The 12-year-old girl was arrested and charged with assault, police said. At this point, none of the other children are facing charges. 

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