An 11-year-old girl was severely burned Monday when a classmate poured scalding hot water on her at a sleepover. The stunt was reportedly part of a social media phenomenon called the “hot water challenge,” in which an unsuspecting victim gets hot water thrown at them while the whole event is filmed.
The girl, Jamoneisha Merritt, suffered burns to her face, chest, back and shoulders according to the New York Post, Wednesday. Police have arrested and charged a 12-year-old girl in connection with the incident.
Merritt was invited to a sleepover Sunday night in the Bronx. As Merritt was sleeping, the 12-year-old allegedly poured scalding water on her. She was taken to Harlem Hospital to be treated, and the 12-year-old was charged with felony assault, according to Police.
“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,” Merritt’s mother Ebony told television station NY1. The burns have severely marred Merritt’s face and doctors are not allowing her to look at them, according to NY1.
Months after she was injured doing a similar version of the challenge, a Florida girl died last week in the hospital. Ki’ari Pope, 8, had suffered medical problems since March when she drank boiling hot water through a straw on a dare from her cousin.
A boy in North Carolina also received severe burns last month after attempting the “hot water challenge.” Wesley Smith, 10, poured scalding hot water all over his body. Smith and his step brother were attempting the challenge after watching “hot water challenge” videos online. He will require several surgeries to recover.