Aaron Carreto lost most of the fingers on his left hand during the July 6 incident, including burns on his stomach, right hand, and face. The 10-year-old was rushed to Long Beach Memorial Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery
His neighbor, Walter Revolorio, 27, was charged on July 9 with one felony count of child abuse under conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death and one felony count of possession of a destructive device in a public place. A second suspect remains under investigation by authorities, KABC reported Friday.
"They lit a firework and then they gave it to me," Carreto told KABC. "The fuse went down, I looked at it and then it popped in my hand when I was going to throw it."
His sister Adriana Carreto said when one of the men tossed him the homemade firework, it left him no time to react or toss it away.
"He tells his family how he feels betrayed by those people around us and wants to start a new life far away from where he grew up," she said.
Revolorio is currently in custody and had he pleaded not guilty. His bail has been set at $630,000, according to KABC.
The 10-year-old boy is described by his sister on a GoFundMe page as a social butterfly, who enjoyed playing soccer, riding his bike with neighbors on their street and playing the video game Fortnite with his classmates.
"This incident changed his life, way of living, but not his spirits," she said.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission says on average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July holiday.
According to KABC, Aaron Cerreto underwent two more surgeries before he was transferred to UCI Medical Center in Orange, California, where doctors have stitched his left arm into his stomach to regrow lost tissue.
“He is currently recovering from four surgeries he’s had so far," his sister said. “He lost his left hand completely.”
The boy told KTLA from his hospital bed that he wants those responsible to be in jail so they can't hurt anyone else and he doesn't want to see them anymore.
"I want to thank each and every one of you that has helped my brother in this terrible accident," Adriana Carreto said in a post the GoFundMe page on Friday. "He’s making progress each and every day. To those who love and support Aaron, that’s what is keeping him motivated to better himself. Thank you all for your help! God bless you all!"