Laura Giacobbe Bridgeport, Connecticut mom calls Dominick Krankall mother, Maria Lua a liar and an opportunist following the burning episode of a 6 year old neighbor’s boy, as she insists cops arrest the child’s mother.
One family ended up $600,000 richer while a neighboring family have had to fight off social media scorn and threats.
The mother of a Bridgeport, Connecticut boy accused of deliberately setting his 6-year-old neighbor on fire wants the burned boy’s family punished after newly released video contradicted their claims.
Laura Giacobbe, in an exclusive with the nypost, has demanded police arrest 6 year old Dominick Krankall’s mom for allegedly lying about the April incident and putting her son ‘though hell.’
The episode led to the 6 year old child incurring second- and third-degree burns in an incident which Krankall’s family claimed Giacobbe’s 8-year-old son grabbing gasoline and a lighter from a shed before coaxing the boy to come near him before allegedly dousing him and setting him on fire.
‘Her child got to go to Yankee Stadium while my child sat inside in fear because of all the statements made against him,’ Giacobbe, 45, told the tabloid.
NEW VIDEO: Newly released video shows the kids playing with gasoline and setting balls on fire, but as Bridgeport police stated last week, there is no video evidence Dominick Krankall was intentionally harmed. MORE: https://t.co/YDCVePD1rm pic.twitter.com/9mHvA0ix4O
— News12CT (@News12CT) June 17, 2022
‘I don’t think it’s fair…’
‘I want her to get arrested because I don’t think it’s fair. It’s defamation of character,’ Giacobbe added. ‘She slandered my family. She put my son through hell. She put me in hell. I want her arrested for false statements.’
Video released Friday by the Giacobbe family has since contradicted Krankall’s family claim that Giacobbe’s 8 year old boy was the perpetrator of bullying and had purposefully set their 6 year old son on fire.
Instead surveillance video shows four children, including Dominick, lighting fires and kicking a flaming soccer ball in the backyard together.
Nothing in the video shows the other boys targeting Dominick, who caught fire after either kicking or stepping on a plastic cup filled with gasoline that was in flames according to Bridgeport police who are now investigating the April 24 episode.
The incident sparked outrage in the community and an outpouring of support for the injured child, who has since been released from the hospital.
Giacobbe said Dominick’s mom, Maria Rua, her former neighbor, was supposed to be watching the kids, including her sons Stefano, 8, and Lorenzo, 11, on the day of the incident.
‘I saw Maria by the sink wiping the child’s face with the wash rag and seeing the skin come off his face because she was wiping it. I was screaming to her that he needed to get into the tub because his leg was on fire and she wasn’t aware of that,’ Giacobbe told the nypost of the moment she arrived back at the house after running her errands.
‘They were playing…’
Adding, ‘At the same time [she was] making a phone call to the police department, stating that ‘the eight-year-old boy downstairs took gasoline, poured it on my child and lit him on fire.’ Those were her exact words.’
The Krankalls said that Giaccobe’s son Stefano doused a ball in gasoline, lit it on fire and then threw it at Dominick’s face in a vicious act of bullying that rattled their town and sparked a police investigation.
But Giacobbe claimed Rua’s story is nothing but fiction, saying the surveillance footage showing the kids playing peacefully ‘all day long’, and that what happened was just a horrible accident, not a deliberate attack.
‘[They were] playing, riding bikes…there was no bullying at all with the children,’ the mom told the tabloid, adding, ‘My child, Stefano Giacobbe, is not a bully.’
Video shows Dominick at one point becoming alight, with video showing the neighbor’s boy rushing to tend to the afflicted boy.
‘[Lorenzo] took his bare hands and smacked the fire out of his face, or else he would have been running upstairs with the fire on his face because [Rua] never came downstairs,’ Giacobbe continued.
Rua ‘should have been watching those children,’ Giacobbe added. ‘I trusted her to be watching those children.’
Giacobbe said she knew her sons were innocent but the police asked her to keep the video private until their investigation was through.
The Bridgeport Police Department released a statement on June 10 saying no evidence showed Dominick had been bullied or targeted by the other kids.
‘There is nothing on the video portraying any of the children deliberately injuring the other,’ the statement said.
Giacobbe said she then released the video to the media to prove her son’s innocence.
‘I don’t want that to stick with him for the rest of his life,’ she told the nypost. ‘We want to have a normal life. We don’t have a normal life now.’
Following the incident, Giacobbe claimed her family received several death threats, with cops parked outside of her home for three weeks to safeguard the family.
‘Do you know how that feels to walk out of your home and you don’t know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next?’ Giacobbe stated.
‘[Stefano] was sad. Kids were saying ‘don’t light me on fire, we can’t play with you,’… He was very upset, very emotional. He asked why was he being picked on.
‘It’s all edited video…’
‘Meanwhile, [Rua’s] building her GoFundMe and her wish list off false statements she’s putting out there.’
Rua responding to Giacobbe’s accusations has calling her former neighbor a ‘liar’ and a ‘narcissist.’
Kids, you know where this one is going …
Rua denied she was supposed to have watching her neighbor’s boys and she stood by her son’s account of what happened that day.
‘This is my son’s story, not mine. He went through this,’ Rua told the nypost. ‘Even Dominick said to me ‘Lorenzo helped put the fire out on my face.’ My son is not a liar. He said ‘Stefano set me on fire but Lorenzo tried to help me.”
Rua was skeptical of the surveillance footage released by the Giacobbe family Tuesday.
‘The edited video. It’s all edited. It took a month and a half to come out. The Bridgeport Police have the actual footage from that day or they’re supposed to,’ Rua told the tabloid.
A spokesperson for the Bridgeport Police Department declined to say whether anyone would face charges for allegedly making false statements.
A representative for GoFundMe said the fundraiser is ‘within GoFundMe Terms of service at this time.’
Connecticut boy Dominick Krankall wasn’t burned deliberately by bullies, video shows https://t.co/mj6qtGbYQ6 pic.twitter.com/gEHdd7sWP8
— New York Post (@nypost) June 21, 2022
‘Give the money back!’
‘Our hearts go out to Dominick as he continues to recover,’ said Kelsi Gantt, GoFundMe spokesperson and Northeast Regional Manager according to the nypost.
Adding, ‘Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee, which protects donors and their generosity. If any donor would like to request a refund, we will process it for them.
‘It’s important to remember, our team of Trust & Safety experts proactively monitors our platform for any form of misuse, investigates all reported issues, and also works with law enforcement on any investigations they deem necessary.’
Giacobbe has since demanded that the 6 year old boy’s family return the donated money.
Do you suppose?
‘Give the money back, Maria, to families that do have children who are very ill who need the money. Give it to the burn unit. I mean, enough is enough!’ Giacobbe demanded according to the tabloid.
‘She made a lie. This was a lie. She used him… she used her child to get that money,’ Giacobbe insisted.
Dominick Krankall, the 6 year old boy affected is scheduled to have ongoing treatment for his burn injuries…