A Saxonburg, Pa., man was arrested after an alleged sadistic attack on a child, 7, in which the boy was doused with an accelerant and filmed after the man’s son allegedly to set the victim’s shirt on fire.
The motive is not clear, though one of the sons of Edward B. Meyers, 35, reportedly told police that it was just a “prank.” Police, however, did not buy the “prank” theory. According to Saxonburg Police Chief Joe Beachem, “I’ve heard there was some animosity between Myers (and his sons) and the victim, but I don’t know what could motivate someone to do this.”
According to police, on May 25, 2013, Meyers doused the son, 7, of his now-former girlfriend with a flammable liquid. His 15-year-old son then allegedly set the boy’s shirt on fire while Meyers made a video of the burning with his cell phone. Adding insult to injury, they also allegedly shot the child in the head repeatedly with a BB gun, though it is not clear exactly when this is alleged to have occurred. The crime reportedly occurred inside the girlfriend’s trailer while Meyers was watching her son.
By the time the seven year old was brought to the hospital, he needed medical treatment for third-degree burns on his face, neck and chest, and for the visible welts on his forehead. The hospital reported the suspicious injuries to police. Meyers reportedly told his girlfriend that the child’s shirt was used to pick up some flammable liquid earlier in the day, and that a cigarette must’ve come into contact with it later while the child was wearing the shirt.
The boy told police that Meyers threw something from the stove that felt like sand into his eyes, and then poured nail polish remover on him before his son intentionally set the shirt on fire. The child told his biological parents that he was intentionally burned and that some of his ordeal had been filmed on Meyers’ cell phone.
Of the attack Beachem said, “I’ve seen a lot of horrible crimes against children during my career, but this one ranks among the worst of them.”
Meyers is being held in the Butler County Prison on a slew of charges including felony aggravated assault. His bail is set at $250,000.