Man Accused of Throwing Liquid Fire on Child
HENRY COUNTY, Tenn.- Henry County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating after an 11-year-old boy was found to have severe chemical burns, Tuesday.
Deputies arrested Garren Crafton, 29, for domestic assault and child abuse and neglect after a domestic call revealed that Crafton's nephew had chemical burns on his legs, neck and face.
Investigators said they believe Crafton intentionally splashed his younger nephew in the face with a drain chemical known as Liquid Fire, after discovering the victim had spilled the container.
Sharon Bradley who also suffered burns to her hand, told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that her grandson's injuries were an accident.
"I would never believe him to do that on purpose ever," said Bradley, "I can't see that realistically happening I really can't."
Deputies said the chemical Liquid Fire is a drain cleaner that is commonly used in the production of methamphetamine. Family members said the victim found the container hidden in the woods, then accidentally burned his legs while pouring the liquid out onto the ground.
"If I knew that was laying on my property, I would have got rid of it," said Bradley.
Bradley said her son Crafton then attempted to empty the bottle by slinging the container towards the ground. The liquid splashed and burned her hand, she said her son Crafton stopped slinging the container as soon as he realized it was causing harm. The burns spread across the victim's nose cheek and neck, said the victim's mother, Crystal Somerville.
"It's embarrassment to him," said Somerville. "Everyone is asking what happened to his face?"
Deputies said Crafton ran off into the woods before officers arrived. Authorities tried tracking him through the woods with K-9 partners, but did not make an arrest until Wednesday.
Officials said it is not uncommon to find dangerous chemicals hidden in the woods. The sheriff's office is warning parents to teach their children the importance of staying away from unknown containers, liquids and substances.
"Especially now with hunting season coming up, children and adults will be in the woods," said Capt. Damon Lowe with Henry County Sheriff's Department.
Liquid Fire is a popular drain brand that is available over the counter in stores. Investigators said It is not illegal if used as a drain opener.
Bradley said her grandson is recovering from first degree burns. Crafton is being held in Henry County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond. Deputies said their investigation is ongoing.