A nine-year-old autistic boy was rushed to hospital after bullies impaled his head with a nail while he was out walking with his parents.
Romeo Smith was strolling behind his mum and dad when a 20cm-long plank of wood was lobbed at his head on Sunday by the thugs.
He was rushed to hospital by his parents and had to wait in A&E with the batten still attached to his skull.
Romeo said: “It was a very scary experience. When they threw the plank I could feel it stick in the back of my head.
“That was the scariest part, I couldn’t see it because of where it was but I knew it was there, it made me very scared.
“I thought the worst and thought that I was dying.”
The incident happened as the family, from Mansfield, Notts., walked home from Romeo’s grandmother’s house.
His mum, Natasha Smith, 30, said: “Romeo was hanging back as he often does.
“It’s usual for him to trail behind me a bit because of his autism. He likes to stop and look at things so I was ahead of him slightly.
“By the time we got back home we realised he was not with us so I shouted to my husband but he had already gone to look for him.”
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Natasha’s husband Craig, 35, found Romeo trapped up a tree by three boys who were brandishing sticks and calling him names.
As Craig approached Romeo came down from his perch but as the pair walked away one of the boys picked up the plank and threw it.
The nail pierced the skin at the back of Romeo’s head and Craig scooped him up in his arms and ran home to Natasha, who is a nurse.
Not wanting to remove the nail for fear of causing Romeo any further injuries they rushed him to hospital.
Doctors gave Romeo morphine and removed the nail – which they said had actually hit his skull, causing it to bend.
He is now bandaged and recovering on a course of antibiotics at home with his parents their three other children.
Natasha said: “It is horrible because these three boys were his friends and had been knocking round for him during the summer.
“They are a couple of years older than him and probably found him vulnerable and an easy target.
“I have no idea how long the bullying has been going on but it is worrying that they have done this in front of an adult.
“You wonder what else they are capable of.”
Natasha said Romeo was now back to his normal self but she was heartbroken by the long-term effect the attack could have.
She added: “We do not want these boys in trouble with the law because they are just kids.
“But something needs to be done – this an example of how boredom during the summer holidays can go a bit far.”