A 10-year-old boy with special needs is fighting for life in hospital after reportedly being deliberately set on fire by a bunch of bullies.
One child has been taken into custody and charged over the incident in Kerrville, Texas, which left Kayden Culp with burns to 20 per cent of his body.
News 4 San Antonio reports that the arrested youth, whose identity has not been released, is "responsible for causing the victim's severe burns".
Kayden's mother Tristyn Hatchett said a relative of one of the boys present said it was one boy who doused Kayden with gasoline and set him alight.
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There's no reason they should not already be incarcerated," Hatchett, 29, said. "The other boys who were there having been telling kids at school that it was not an accident, that it was intentional."
Hatchett said she last spoke to her son while he was in the ambulance, when he asked for a hug and a kiss and said a specific boy "needs to go to jail".
"My son is a special guy. He was rowdy and he liked to have fun," she said. "He considered these guys his friends, but they would make fun of him and pick on him and tease him. He was usually the brunt of that kind of joke, but he kept playing with them."
Kayden's condition has reportedly taken a turn for the worst. His organs are failing and he remains in an induced coma in hospital.
A YouCaring page has raised more than US$100,000 for Kayden's family, far more than the US$10,000 goal.