An 11-year-old boy suffered second-degree burns on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford while imitating a stunt performed on a popular MTV show, the police said yesterday. It was the second time in less than three months that a child was burned copying the show, on which cast members perform pranks and daredevil acts.
The boy, Jose Serrano, was treated at Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and released.
According to the police, Jose said he and several friends were playing in a yard imitating stunts from the MTV program “Jackass,” like jumping from trees and running into objects. He and the other children then found a flammable liquid, doused a rag with it and tied it around Jose’s leg. They set the rag on fire, and it burned Jose’s pants and leg before it could be put out, Officer Patrick Jobes said.
In January, a 13-year-old Torrington, Conn., boy suffered second- and third-degree burns after similarly imitating a stunt in which an MTV personality set himself on fire. The boy let a friend douse his pants with gasoline and set him on fire, the police said. The friend was charged with reckless endangerment.
Since that incident, MTV has moved “Jackass” from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Yesterday, the network issued a statement denying any responsibility for the children’s injuries, adding: “Obviously we feel horrible when a young person does something to hurt themselves. Like other programmers, we take great care to air our shows responsibly. ‘Jackass’ airs with a TV-MA rating, with written and verbal warnings throughout the show, clearly stating that the stunts should not be imitated.”
A disclaimer on the show’s Web site last night was only a partial thought that said, ” ‘Jackass’ features stunts performed by professionals and/or total idiots. In either case, MTV insists that neither you or any of your” then ended abruptly.