An Arkansas teen, Nickolas Conrad, is recovering from first- and second-degree burns on his neck after he was doused in boiling hot water while he was asleep. The Sherwood High School student said that the six boys attending a sleepover at a friend’s house tried the “Hot Water Challenge” on him before burning him with a cigarette lighter
“I felt this really bad burning on my neck and I woke up and I just started screaming and crying,” he told KTHV. “I just laid in bed crying for about two hours, and I finally got up and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and realized that this happened.”
He went home to his mother later that morning, and he was taken straight to hospital where he received treatment for his burns.
“They told me that they poured hot water on me, and they didn’t realize it was that hot but it was pretty bad at the time,” he said.
The incident comes weeks after an 11-year-old girl suffered second- and third-degree burns to her face and shoulders when her friends attempted the same challenge.
Jamoneisha “Jamoni” Merritt was hospitalized for 11 days. A 12-year-old was taken into custody in connection to Merritt’s case, but no charges have been filed in Conrad’s.
“I just want them to leave me alone,” he said. “They’re not my friends anymore and they’re not going to be. I’ve realized what friends are and how they act and those were never my friends.”
Conrad’s mother, Mickey, said that she was still in shock over the incident, and has begged other parents to warn their children about the dangers of online challenges.
“I thought he had been in an accident and that it had been an accident,” she said. “But when I found out it was deliberate, it’s so concerning. Don’t ever say, ‘My child won’t do that,’ and educate them.”
The Sherwood police department launched an investigation into the incident.