Bronx girl recovering from horrific burns caused by prank

She woke up to a nightmare.

A sleeping 11-year-old girl suffered second-degree burns over her face and shoulders when doused with scalding water by a friend in a battle of pranks gone horribly wrong, police sources said.

The 12-year-old girl behind the boiling water attack on Jamoneisha Merritt tried to kill herself over the incident, her mother told the Daily News inside the Bronx apartment where the incident occurred early Monday.

“My daughter tried to stab herself with a knife,” said mom Shernett Panton, 34, on Thursday. “It was a prank — not a good prank. But after she saw what she did to (Jamoneisha) was really wrong, she tried to kill herself.”

Girl throws boiling water on resting 11-year-old at Bx. sleepover

The burned girl’s mother allegedly choked 12-year-old Aniya Grant Stuart over the incident, and the angry parent appeared Thursday morning spewing threats outside the Panton apartment.

“I’m going to cut your face, you f—ing b—-!” Ebony Merritt screamed at Panton. “I’m going to burn your f—ing house down! You let this happen to my daughter!”

According to Panton, the girl she knew as Jamoni was a friend of her daughter Aniya and basically moved into their apartment about a month ago.

“They always prank each other,” said Panton. “My daughter was sleeping and Jamoni poured cold water on Aniya. My daughter was like, ‘OK, if you’re gonna do a prank on me, I’m gonna prank you back.’

“But my daughter — I don’t know what she was thinking — boiled hot water and poured it on Jamoni’s face.”

Panton was sleeping around 4 a.m. when the bizarre incident occurred as Jamoni slept on a couch in the family living room.

The girl was rushed to Harlem Hospital for treatment of the burns. The Rev. Robert Rice prayed with the burn victim, her mother and her grandmother in the girl’s hospital room.

Jamoneisha Merritt.


“She’s doing fine, she’s strong,” said Rice. “Her spirit is strong. I gave her a hug, and she’s smiling.”

Aniya was under a suicide watch at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center after trying to stab herself with a knife, according to her mom.

“What she did was really wrong, but it’s too much right now,” said Panton, 34. “My daughter is 12. Everybody makes mistakes.”

After Panton told The News that the Merritts were threatening her family every day, Ebony Merritt appeared outside the clan’s Findlay Ave. apartment and launched into an expletive-laden tirade.

The police were called to the scene to speak with Merritt and defuse the situation.

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