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Brad Matthews


NextImg:Juveniles indicted, accused of pouring stolen acid on slides at Massachusetts playground

A pair of juveniles were indicted for a summer incident in which stolen acid was poured on slides at a playground by a grand jury in Hampden County, Massachusetts this week.

A break-in on June 10 at the Longmeadow, Massachusetts, city pool led to the theft of muriatic acid, a diluted form of hydrochloric acid used for cleaning. 

That acid was then poured on three slides at the playground at Bliss Park in Longmeadow sometime before or on June 11, when the acid burned children at play.

Four young children ended up with minor injuries due to the June 11 incident, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni wrote in a release on Facebook Thursday. Empty acid jugs were found in nearby woods following the incident.

The identities of the two accused juveniles indicted on Wednesday cannot be released due to their age, Mr. Gulluni explained. Each is charged with four counts of assault and battery of a child causing injury, four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of vandalism.

“Our collective effort to charge those we believe are responsible should make clear that protecting this community’s children is among our highest priorities. Whether the threat and harm caused were intended as pranks or malicious acts, it will not be tolerated,” Mr. Gulluni wrote in a statement.

Mother Ashley Thielen had two of her children injured by the acid. She had initially thought the acid on the slides was rainwater.

“I didn’t really think much of it, and then, my baby, who is one, just started crying. That was when I knew this liquid that they were around was not water,” Ms. Thielen told WGGB-TV in June.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.