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Teen facing blindness after friend threw cleaning powder in his eyes

Teen facing blindness after friend threw cleaning powder in his eyes

Brody Morgan, who has autism, was rushed to hospital after an alleged assault by teen Branden Jolly

A Texas teenager with autism could face permanent blindness after his so-called friend allegedly threw drain de-clogger into his face.

Friendswood Police Department claim that on May 20, Branden Jolly, 17, assaulted his autistic friend Brody Morgan, 18, with a ‘white powdered substance’.

It’s said that the two teenagers were walking through Jolly’s neighbourhood at the time of the incident when another friend joined them.

During the trio’s walk through the Houston suburb, it’s claimed that one of Morgan’s peers stole a package from a house, as per ABC13.

Court documents obtained by the outlet state that a ‘container filled with a powdered substance’ was inside and that Jolly proceeded to ‘throw’ the contents onto the shirt of the autistic teen.

Officials say Morgan then ‘pushed Jolly to create distance’ and to prevent ‘further contact’ with the chemical substance.

Brody Morgan faces potential permanent blindness (ABC13)
Brody Morgan faces potential permanent blindness (ABC13)

However, the police state this move prompted Jolly to ‘[throw] the elements of the container into the face of the male victim causing severe pain to his eyes.’

Following the incident, Morgan was rushed back to his house by his friends where his mother, Amy Morgan, tried to flush his eyes with saline and water.

Despite initially suspecting the substance with salt, the victim’s mother put her son in the car and drove him to hospital.

“All I heard was he had a substance thrown in his face, which I was told was salt,” she said.

"We went into the emergency room, and they immediately realized that it was not salt, and they kept trying to get from me what it was, and I had no idea.”

It’s alleged that medical practitioners later learned that the chemical caking Morgan’s eyes was not salt, but drain de-clogger.

The victim's mother, Amy Morgan, spoke to the outlet about the ordeal. (ABC13)
The victim's mother, Amy Morgan, spoke to the outlet about the ordeal. (ABC13)

Two days after the incident, the Friendswood Police Department arrested Jolly and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted felony charges for Injury to Disabled.

Jolly allegedly escaped house arrest after prosecutors demanded it be added to his now $300,000 bond, the Daily Mail reports.

Following the incident, the family of the alleged perpetrator told ABC13 that they were ‘distraught’ over the details of the case.

“I'm very saddened by the entire event, and heart goes out to Brody and his family,” they said in a statement.

“I believe this incident was NOT an act of malicious intent by my son to harm his friend but an accident resulting from the choices made by all parties involved."

In response, the victim’s mother sympathised with Jolly’s relatives and claimed the situation would be ‘hard on them’.

Brenden Jolly was apprehended on May 24. (Facebook/Friendswood Police Department)
Brenden Jolly was apprehended on May 24. (Facebook/Friendswood Police Department)

“She's his mom. She's going to try to protect her son, and I don't blame her," she said.

“But they are not having to deal with a child that is possibly going to lose his vision or scarring burns on his face.”

She added that kids with autism ‘don’t always know how to make good friend choices’ and that he has been transferred to a burn unit.

It’s not known whether Morgan will permanently lose his vision and it’s stated that his recovery process is unpredictable.

Featured Image Credit: ABC 13/Friendswood Police Department

Topics: US News, Crime, Police, Texas