11-year-old Bronx girl burned by boiling water honored at block party

MORRISANIA, Bronx (WPVI) -- The 11-year-old New York City girl who was badly burned when boiling water was poured on her during a sleepover is the special guest at a block party in the Bronx Thursday.

The neighborhood is coming together for Jamoni Merritt, who said she was looking forward to stepping out and enjoying the festivities.

She said she is thrilled about being honored at the annual neighborhood block party on Finley Avenue in the Morrisania section, which is a celebration for the brave, resilient young girl who is bouncing back, no question about it.

She was upbeat and smiling the whole time she spoke with reporter NJ Burkett on Wednesday, telling him she can't dwell on what happened to her.

"I can't be angry," she said. "I have to be happy."

RELATED: Girl burned by boiling water at sleepover released from hospital

She suffered second- and third-degree burns across her shoulders and 85 percent of her face after she was the victim of an apparent prank from a 12-year-old girl who allegedly splashed the boiling water on her during a sleepover in the middle of the night.

"I started jumping, 'It's hot! It's hot! It's hot!'" she said. "And then she was like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It was by accident. No, it was by accident.'...That's no accident. You don't play like that."
Watch more of our interview with Jamoni here:
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In this web extra, Jamoni Merritt talks about being burned by boiling water during a sleepover in the Bronx borough of New York City.

The girl was charged as a juvenile, but Merritt and her mother want others charged, like the girl's parents, who didn't call 911 for 90 minutes.

"I would not have been as angry if the mother came to me as a mother and told me exactly what happened the right way," mom Ebony Merritt said. "Instead of covering it up and have my daughter sit there for an hour and a half."

If her recovery goes well, doctors say the scars will heal and her face will return to her natural color. A huge crowd is expected at the block party, with all kinds of events planned for the kids.

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