Walter Currie | Not in Our Town

Walter Currie

This week, Walter Currie, Jr. had to face the young man who doused him with gas and set him on fire for the first time since the attack took place June 13, 2009, in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The 16-year-old charged with the attack appeared in a preliminary juvenile court hearing August 5, 2009, presided over by Butler County’s Associate Circuit Judge John Bloodworth, who will decide if he will tried as an adult or a juvenile. Winona Currie, Walter’s mother, seemed anxious as she and the family were getting ready for the hearing. Walter is 15 years old, and still has a youthful appearance. He smiles easily, but is soft spoken and shy. His face shows no signs of the attack, but heavy scarring and discoloration peak out from his collar and stretch up his neck.
Poplar Bluff, MO: Fifteen-year-old Walter Currie Jr. was doused with gasoline, and then set on fire by a sixteen-year-old classmate. The attack occurred on June 13 in Poplar Bluff, a small Missouri town about 125 miles south of St. Louis.  St. Louis Post Dispatch story. Walter and his family say they  believe this attack was racially motivated. The sixteen year old who was arrested for the attack on Walter has been released from jail. The juvenile court in Butler County has requested that the alleged assailant be tried as an adult, where he would face felony assault charges. No hate crime charges have been filed.  Walter spent nine days in the burn unit of a St. Louis hospital. He is  is expected to recover, but he faces years of treatment and  multiple surgeries.  His mother Winona Currie says, “Physically, he’s doing well, but I’m worried about his spirit.”