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  1. #1
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    IN - Hammond 9 year old boy set on fire in 'prank'

    HAMMOND -- A 9-year-old boy suffered severe burns in what police say was a prank gone wrong.
    Three older boys poured rubbing alcohol on third-grader Joshua Judkins, then lit him on fire Monday in Gibson Woods, near Judkins' mother's apartment in the Kennedy Crossing complex, said Judkins' father, Elijah.
    <snip>

    The older boys, white males in their early teens whom Joshua had met only a day earlier, fled. One of them, the boy said, may have been named Ryan.


    More at link: (sorry, had to copy and paste, maybe someone can fix it so it can be linked directly from here)

    www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1619903,boy-set-on-fire-prank-061209.article

    PRANK? PRANK? What exactly is pouring rubbing alcohol on a 3rd graders back and lighting him on fire? A hate crime, attempted murder? Iam OUTRAGED the police are calling this a prank- and from what it appears like really blowing off this boys parents.

    I hope LE gets their head out of their rear end with this one, finds and charges these 3 teen boys before they really hurt someone else.

    I will be contacting Hammond police to express my outrage and I hope others will too.

  2. #2
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    The below statement is rediculous. How does this officer figure it was an accident? How is intentionally pouring alcohol on someone and lighting them on fire an accident? Why does the police report state a completely different scenario than what Joshua told? And what's up with the lack of interest in the evidence? Is LE protecting the boys responsible?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1...061209.article

    Police have not identified the boys and have not interviewed witnesses, said police spokesman Lt. Richard Hoyda. The incident appeared to be an accident, not an attempt to hurt Judkins, but the investigation is continuing, Hoyda said Thursday.

    A police report states Judkins told police the boys were playing with lighters, burning sticks and paper. When Judkins caught fire, he told police, the other boys "freaked out."
    Elijah Judkins said he returned to the woods earlier this week and found his son's burned shirt and a bottle of alcohol, and several water bottles.
    Judkins said he told police he had the items, and has kept them in the trunk of his car.
    "There should be fingerprints on them, things they could use as evidence," he said. "They don't seem interested."

  3. #3
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    TY SuziQ. What kind of TEENAGERS bring a 3rd grader around to play with fire?

    Wouldn't the t-shirt show evidence supporting the childs story? I assume they would be able to determine if the fire set on his shirt was a result of being doused with rubbing alcohol first. ESPECIALLY since it happened on his back.

    I want Hammond LE inundated with letters and calls!

    This boy deserves justice!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    TY SuziQ. What kind of TEENAGERS bring a 3rd grader around to play with fire?

    Wouldn't the t-shirt show evidence supporting the childs story? I assume they would be able to determine if the fire set on his shirt was a result of being doused with rubbing alcohol first. ESPECIALLY since it happened on his back.

    I want Hammond LE inundated with letters and calls!

    This boy deserves justice!
    And what teenagers are interested in befriending and hanging out with a third grader at all? IMO, they may have done so with criminal intent. Much like a bunch of mean teens who lure a defensless dog and set it on fire. These boys disturb me greatly. And the lack of interest of LE disturbs me even more.

  5. #5
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    One thought did occur to me. That Joshua was on his own playing with fire and accidently set himself on fire. He might be afraid of getting into trouble. But LE not even collecting his shirt? Did they even go out to the scene? Very odd.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuziQ View Post
    One thought did occur to me. That Joshua was on his own playing with fire and accidently set himself on fire. He might be afraid of getting into trouble. But LE not even collecting his shirt? Did they even go out to the scene? Very odd.

    According to the article, they did not go out to the scene. The boys father did several days later to collect the evidence which he currently has in the trunk of his car. Not so sure how smart that is, I would have insisted LE accompany me to the site to search for evidence.

    I thought it might have been an accident too, but if the t-shirt has alcohol on it, how would it have gotten onto the back of his t-shirt? The only possible way this could have been an accident in my eyes, is if one of the older boys stumbled with the bottle of rubbing alcohol open and it splashed onto the childs back. Then the child would have had to be sitting down, with his back to the fire with the already wet t-shirt which would have caught fire. But how can police know this if they have NOT interviewed witnesses nor have they found the older boys?

    The lack of police interest in the evidence found shows me they are not willing to fully investigate this, and that ticks me off. This child deserves a full and thorough investigation to determine if criminel intent existed. The T-shirt needs to be examined, it is evidence.

  7. #7
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    Even at this age how could they think that this kind of activity could provide them with any sort of fun?

  8. #8
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    Thinking again about the accident theory, if LE believed it was an accident, why would they call it a 'prank'? Calling it a prank would mean to me there was some intention.......

  9. #9
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    There is no excuse for this neglect on the part of the police. These boys will go on to do worse, IMO. No way kids that age would be hanging out with a third grader for any good purpose to start with. I, too, suspect it may be a hate crime. I don't generally discriminate, but this is one time I would like to hear the "color" of those teens! I lived for almost a year in the Hammond/Gary area; never before I had been exposed to such conflict. So sad.

  10. #10
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    Sheromom, the articles state the 3 older boys are white.
    Why are three white teenage boys interested in teaching a 9 yr old black 3rd grader to make afire? Especially after only knowing the 9 yr old for 24 hours? The article states the 9 yr old met them the day before this happened.
    Last edited by Cubby; 06-13-2009 at 04:55 PM. Reason: add


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Sheromom, the articles state the 3 older boys are white.
    Why are three white teenage boys interested in teaching a 9 yr old black 3rd grader to make afire? Especially after only knowing the 9 yr old for 24 hours? The article states the 9 yr old met them the day before this happened.
    It sounds like nothing less than attempted murder to me!
    "prank" my butt!


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Sheromom, the articles state the 3 older boys are white.
    Why are three white teenage boys interested in teaching a 9 yr old black 3rd grader to make afire? Especially after only knowing the 9 yr old for 24 hours? The article states the 9 yr old met them the day before this happened.
    I was just curious about the weird reporting and lack of police interest until I read this post. Now I feel sick.

  13. #13
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    This article explains a little more. Including the 9 yr old boy was with his older brothers the previous day when he met the three 13-14 yr old boys involved in the incident.

    www.post-trib.com/news/1620653,hamburnfolo.article

    According to the article, the 3 boys had the same story that the 9 yr old was standing over the open bottle of rubbing alcohol when he caught fire. How combustible would an open bottle be with a match say 6-12" away from the bottle? I don't buy it. These boys had 4 days to come up with a story before turning themselves into police.

    At least we know LE is investigating this case. The boys should be able to give LE a reenactment of the events which took place and how far the bottle was from the child etc. etc. I still don't buy the fumes from an open bottle of rubbing alchohol would be that combustible from a distance to cause this type of accident.
    Last edited by Cubby; 06-13-2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: add

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Sheromom, the articles state the 3 older boys are white.
    Why are three white teenage boys interested in teaching a 9 yr old black 3rd grader to make afire? Especially after only knowing the 9 yr old for 24 hours? The article states the 9 yr old met them the day before this happened.
    Cubby, I feel just SICK!!!!!

  15. #15
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    I feel so frustrated by this!!!! Knowing that area as I do, I have the distinct feeling that nothing is going to done about this at all. The ONLY way to change that will be for the community to speak up in large numbers, and honestly, with the racial strife there, I'm not sure they will. Well, they will hear from me and I hope enough other Websleuth members to show that there is now some national attention being given to this crime.

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