Shawnee student burned by ignited hand sanitizer

SHAWNEE, Kan. - A 13-year-old Shawnee boy is recovering from minor face burns caused by ignited hand sanitizer thrown at him by another student at Hocker Grove Middle School.

Shawnee police said a 12-year-old boy was in the commons area before school hours Wednesday when he poured hand sanitizer on his hands, lit it on fire and then threw it on another boy's face.

"Started out more as a joke, but certainly had this hand sanitizer gotten on either of those students' clothing we'd be talking about a real tragic event here today," Maj. Bill Hisel said.

The 12-year-old was arrested and taken to Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center, where Hinsel said he will be charged with aggravated battery, a felony.

Officers said the student told them he got the idea from watching videos on YouTube, and an eighth grader who told him it was a party gag.

"It's not funny," Hinsel said. "What starts out as a seemingly practical joke, has some pretty dangerous and unintended consequences."

Police said neither boys had any prior issues with one another and believe it was a random attack. The school nurse treated the 13-year-old before his parents took him for further treatment. The victim returned to school later that day and is doing fine.

The principal called parents at Hocker Grove Middle School Wednesday to tell them about the incident and warn them about the dangers of ignited hand sanitizer.

The district said punishment for the 7th grader at school depends on the incident and his previous record.

"I can tell you the district does have policies in place and discipline procedures, and the school will follow those," Neal said.

Both the school district and Shawnee police hope parents will talk to their kids about the dangers associated with this incident.

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