12-year-old Hanford girl arrested for burning 12-year-old boy with hot water, police say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 12-year-old boy is now out of the hospital after suffering second degree burns. Hanford Police say a 12-year-old girl threw hot water at him because she was angry. The girl is claiming self-defense, but police arrested her for what they say is a serious crime.

The boy's mother told Action News this is completely unjustified. And police appear to be on her side. The 12-year-old girl claims this is all the result of months of bullying.

There's no arguing the boy's burns are severe. Scalding water is the cause, but what's arguable is why. The incident happened at the Shamrock Gardens Apartments in Hanford on Sunday. Police say several kids were involved in harassing each other, and the anger escalated.

"I just got angry, I just grabbed the hot faucet water," the young girl told Action News. "I wasn't trying to harm anyone so I threw the water on the floor."

Action News has decided not to identify the kids in this case. The girl who was arrested spent the night in police custody. She says it wasn't her fault. Another boy suffered some burns from the water as well. The girl and her mother said the boys were accidentally hit with the hot water, and that this was the result of the girl being repeatedly bullied.

"That shouldn't happen," said the injured boy's mother, Alondra Ochoa. "I mean if she is saying my son threw a water balloon at her, that's fine throw one back at him. The kids are playing. But don't throw boiling hot water at him."

Ochoa is extremely angry over the incident. She says her son is not a bully. The boy said the burns were intentional. "She started chasing me," he told Action News. "I didn't know the water was really hot until it hit me. The next thing I was screaming because the water hit my back."

They claim the girl is part of the problem. Her mom said she's sorry for what happened, but her daughter had to defend herself. Crystal Foster knew her daughter grabbed the water, but maintains the burns were not intentional.

"If somebody is going to attack you, you have every right to defend yourself," she said. "I don't think it was fair, and I know it was wrong."

Police say the girl faces charges for Battery with Serious Bodily Injury because this was not self-defense.

"It just wasn't justified, the amount of injury that was caused as a result," Sgt. Stephanie Huddelston said.

The families live just a few doors from each other and must now figure out a way to keep more violence from happening.

Police say this is the perfect example of when it's necessary to call officers for help. They say if they had been called for the harassment before the burns they probably could have been prevented.

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