12-year-old Calif. boy describes attack causing severe burns

FRESNO, Calif. -- As severe burns spread across his body, a 12-year-old California boy says he had no idea what was happening except that a friend had attacked him.

Eight days later, he's still puzzled and waiting for justice.

Our sister-station KFSN first reported about Antonio Kemp's burns the day after he was admitted to Community Regional Medical Center and now he's describing the terrifying experience in an exclusive interview with Action News.

Pain has haunted Antonio Kemp for eight days, ever since the burn spread across the left side of his body -- from his chest to his back and up his face.

"It still kind of hurts looking side to side," he said. "Day by day, I'm getting better each day."

Kemp's agony started when he spent the night at a friend's house.

He took a shower in the morning and got interrupted by the other boy.

"I see him, I think with a cup, and he splashes it all over me," Antonio said. "And right when it splashed, I started freaking out because it burned. And I looked in the mirror I saw my skin hanging and I saw bubbles. Worst pain I've ever felt."

The 12-year-old doesn't know what burned him and forced him into intensive care for days.

Pig skin covers some of his wounds as he tries to regrow his own skin and the discoloration may never go away.

Doctors finally told him he could go home Monday.

His mom and aunt say doctors and nurses treated Antonio like family and he's a fighter, so they're confident he'll improve physically.

But psychologically, the trauma is lingering and he's still wondering exactly how it came to this.

"What did he pour on me and why did he do it? That's all I want to know," Antonio said.

Antonio says he wasn't fighting with the other boy and it couldn't have been retaliation.

"No," he said. "I never did nothing to him."

But he might not ever get his answers.

When KFSN reached out to the other boy's father, he told us he couldn't say anything.

Fresno County sheriff's deputies say they haven't questioned the suspect because the family invoked his right to an attorney.

They could still forward a criminal case to the district attorney's office this week.

Attorney Warren Paboojian will represent Antonio's family in a civil lawsuit, but his mother is missing work and they're racking up expenses for the time being, so friends set up a Gofundme page to help out.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.