Police in the U.K. are investigating an incident in which a 10-year-old girl was jumped by a gang of children who attempted to set her on fire, according to reports.
The "completely unprovoked attack" unfolded in broad daylight on Sunday afternoon as the child and a friend walked through a park in Wirral, authorities say.
"The girl had been with a female friend in New Ferry park on New Chester Road at around 1:15 p.m. when it is reported she was assaulted by a gang of males and females aged around 12-13," a Merseyside Police spokesperson told the Liverpool Echo. "It is also believed one of the group tried to unsuccessfully burn the girls coat.
"Both girls also had a drink thrown over them."
The victim was left shaken and suffered minor injuries to her face.
"This is vile behavior," said one local parent in response to the assault. "These monsters need [to be] punished, never mind saying they are only 10 and 12 years old, they are old enough to know what they are doing."
Another resident expressed her shock, saying, "What is it coming to when young kids cant go to a park, when we get nasty horrible little rats thinking they can go round abusing others?"
Police say they are reviewing CCTV footage and are requesting anyone with information to come forward.
This was a completely unprovoked attack and was a horrible incident for the young girl and her friend to endure," said Detective Inspector Darren Taylor.
"We are carrying out enquiries in the local area and I would ask anyone who was in the park or the surrounding area who saw anybody or anything suspicious to contact us."