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13-year-old assaulted in front of home

Today conflicts between teens occur in many fronts. Some confrontations are physical and some occur through text messaging and social media websites. Young people are not only caught up in physical altercations, but also now from cyber bullying -- both can have dangerous consequences.

Kansas City police officers are searching for two teenagers who allegedly set a 13-year-old boy on fire last month. According to the police report, the 13-year-old boy was walking home from school when the alleged criminal activity took place.

The Caucasian boy told police that the African American teenagers confronted him as he was walking home from East High School in Kansas City. The boy said as he got to the door to his home, one of the teens wrapped his arms around him and restrained him. The other teen grabbed a gas can that was sitting in front of the boy's house.

According to the police report, the teen wielding the gas can said to the boy, "This is what you get." The younger boy then tried to get loose and take the gas can away from teen. Instead, the can fell to the ground and the gas spilled.

Then, one of the young males allegedly set the gas on fire, the police report says. As the gas ignited, it exploded into a fireball, which burned the 13-year-old boy's face and hair.

Following the assault and battery, the younger boy used his shirt to put out the fire and managed to call 911. Emergency workers took him to a local hospital, where he was treated for first degree burns. His father reports the boy has burns in his nostrils and on his upper lip. The skin is also peeling off his nose.

Many media outlets said the attack may have been a hate crime, but the Kansas City police do not believe it was. The boy's father says he does not know if the incident was racially motivated or not, but he does know the older teens followed his son home from East High School.

The boy's father says he will not send his son back to the high school, and that he is trying to move out of his east Kansas City neighborhood.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Police investigate burning of 13-year-old-boy," Tony Rizzo, March 5, 2012

Source: The New York Daily News, "Teenagers poured gasoline on boy walking home from school and set him on fire: cops," Meena Hart Duerson, March 4, 2012

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