A Connecticut boy accused of setting his 6-year-old neighbor on fire burst into tears as he recalled being shunned by close friends who feared he was a violent bully.
Stefano Giacobbe, 8, was accused of deliberately setting Dominic Crancoll on fire almost two months ago, until a video recently surfaced of the two playing together before the youth accidentally burst into flames.
Stefano, who was seen desperately trying to put out the flames in the April footage, burst into tears when the DailyMail.com videographer clicked on the backlash he received.
He used his hoodie to wipe away tears when he remembered how close friends avoided him when he tried to play with them.
“They told me to leave the house and not set me on fire,” he told the exit, at one point completely covering his face as he sobbed, saying he was “saddened” by the incident that left his young neighbor. with horrendous second and third degree burns.
As he wept, his mother, Laura Giacobbe, 45, denounced how her son was effectively canceled by other children after he was accused of deliberately throwing a burning ball at his neighbor.
“He lost friends who were very close to him. And he loved them like a brother,” she told a videographer from her backyard in Bridgeport, where the accident took place.
“Forcing him to go through this every day, accusing him of being a bully, is unfair – because he is not a bully,” she insisted.
Giacobbe told The Post on Tuesday that she wanted the burned boy’s mother – her former neighbor Maria Rua – to be arrested for putting her son “through hell,” saying the bullying allegations even led to death threats and the need to police car near her house for protection.
She also angrily accused Rua, her former neighbor, of not babysitting at the time, which she insisted she had promised.
“Her kid had to go to Yankee Stadium while my kid was sitting inside in fear because of all the allegations made against him,” Giacobbe told The Post.
“I want her arrested because I don’t think it’s fair. This is a slander of a person,” Giacobbe continued. “She slandered my family. She took my son through hell. She sent me to hell. I want her arrested for perjury.”
In a video released Friday, four children, including Dominic and Stefano, light fires together and kick a burning soccer ball in the backyard.
Nothing in the video shows the other boys targeting Dominic, who burst into flames after kicking or stepping on a burning plastic cup filled with gasoline.
Bridgeport police also confirmed that there was no evidence of foul play.
“There is nothing on the video that depicts one of the children deliberately harming another,” the security forces said.
However, Rua supported “her son’s story”, calling Giacobbe a “liar” and a “narcissist”.
“My son is not a liar,” she told The Post, suggesting the video had been edited.
Rua told the Mail that her son is at home, “recovering and in good spirits.”
She also confirmed that she would use the nearly $600,000 she raised on the controversial GoFundMe to buy a new home.
“Dominic is so happy that he has his own house. The backyard is for play and he wants to share a bedroom with his 3 year old brother. He’s literally counting the days,” she told the publication.
She said about $1,000 was returned to donors after the video was found to contradict her original story.
However, she insisted, “This is Dominic’s money. He’s the one who went through it.”
A GoFundMe spokesperson told The Post that fundraising is “currently under the GoFundMe Terms of Service” and that donors may be eligible for a refund.
“Our hearts go out to Dominic as he continues to recover,” said Kelsey Gantt, GoFundMe Representative and Regional Manager for the Northeast.