Fourteen-year-old Ramir McAfee sustained second-degree burns while asleep at B4U FALL when another student poured scalding hot water on him, but a report from the Indiana Department of Child Services concluded an allegation of neglect was “unsubstantiated.”
According to the report, which McAfee’s mother, Dominique Fitch, shared with the Recorder, McAfee awoke screaming around 3 a.m. Sept. 12 because his skin was burning. A social worker at Riley Hospital for Children told the family case manager the skin around the left side of his face, neck and chest was “gone.”
B4U FALL is a nonprofit mentoring program that includes a residential living program.
McAfee told the case manager the alleged perpetrator got the hot water from a staff member at B4U FALL, according to the report. The case manager interviewed the staff member, who said he was upstairs at the time of the incident.
In an interview with the Recorder, Shane Shepherd, the organization’s CEO and founder, said the alleged perpetrator likely told McAfee he got the water from a staff member because he thought it would lessen his chances of getting in trouble. Shepherd said the staff member has since left B4U FALL for another job.
According to the report, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective said there would be criminal charges against the boy who poured the water.
According to the report, Shepherd said there was supposed to be another staff member at the home throughout the night, but she left shortly before the incident following a confrontation with the alleged perpetrator’s mother, who was going to to pick up her son.
Shepherd told the case manager the staff member who left early was terminated.
Staff members interviewed in the report said they didn’t believe the stove was used to heat the water dumped on McAfee. Shepherd told the case manager the water temperature was turned up so there would be enough hot water for showers in the morning, and the report said Shepherd had a video to show steam coming from the faucet with the water running.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.