Teenager loses fingers from ‘piece of trash’ that was a homemade explosive

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Tanisha Gabriele says her 16-year-old son thought he was picking up a piece of trash in his friend’s backyard, not an explosive, according to WTIC.

"It’s scary but he’s strong, and he’s gonna make it through it, no matter what, he’s a tough kid and he’s keeping me strong," said Tanisha Gabriele, the mother of the teenager who picked up the explosive.

On Sunday evening, Gabriele's 16-year-old son, Carlos, was in the backyard of a friend's house in Hartford with three other children when he saw what he thought was aluminum foil on the ground.

"He thought it was just a piece of trash, and you know aluminum foil, you squeeze it just to ball it up or whatever, and it was just a little piece and it just exploded like a real big explosion," Gabriele said.

He picked up a homemade explosive, no bigger than a golf ball, and lost his pointer and middle finger on his left hand. His mother said doctors at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where Carlos was taken, aren't sure if his other three fingers will stay.

"He has a lot of burns on his chest and stomach," Gabriele said.

His mother has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical bills and physical therapy.

"To me he's a hero," Gabriele said, "He’s just the best you know, I can’t express it enough that I’m grateful to have him as my son, and he’s just an excellent kid."

Hartford Police Bomb Squad is investigating.