Police: boy burns friend with hot water in 'Jackass'-like stunt

GAHANNA, Ohio (AP) - A 13-year-old boy, inspired by "Jackass: The Movie," threw a cup of boiling water on his best friend as he slept, police said.
Collin Gaffney was charged with a delinquency count of felonious assault. Shaka Townsend, 14, was treated for first- and second-degree burns at Children's Hospital.
Police Lt. Jeff Spence said Gaffney videotaped the May 19 incident and others in the weeks before that. The boy told police he planned to make his own movie of pranks and jokes, similar to "Jackass," a movie version of the defunct MTV television show.
Gaffney, Townsend and other neighborhood boys in this Columbus suburb appear throughout the hourlong video, acting out pranks and stunts. Spence said no one was hurt in the rest of the tape.
The show and movie included a warning against trying stunts at home and they say the producers don't accept submissions.
Gaffney's mother, Bernadean Decicco, said she didn't know her son and his friends were imitating "these stupid TV shows."
"They did many stunts that Collin could have been killed at. Fortunately, he didn't get hurt," she said. "If I had known, I would have put a stop to it."
The maximum penalty the 13-year-old could receive in juvenile court is confinement in a youth detention center until the age of 21.
Her son, Decicco said, is distraught over his best friend's injuries. The teens, nearly inseparable friends for years, talk daily, she said.
"He tells him he's praying for him," Decicco said of her son.
Townsend's father, James Townsend, said Gaffney and his family have apologized. But the Townsends still decided to press charges.
"We felt that grounding was not appropriate to handle this," Townsend said. "We thought the authorities needed to handle it, that it needed to be official."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)