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Friendswood teen facing blindness after chemical attack

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) — A Friendswood teen could potentially go blind after getting chemicals thrown in his eyes.

According to the Friendswood Police Department, the alleged attack was carried out by someone the victim called a friend.

Branden Jolly, 17, is now facing an injury to a disabled charge because the victim, 18-year-old Brody Morgan, has autism.

“Kids with autism don’t always know how to make good friend choices,” Amy Morgan, the victim’s mother, said.

On the afternoon of May 20, Brody was walking through his Friendswood neighborhood with two teens from school. His mom said they frantically returned home with her screaming son.

“All I heard was he had a substance thrown in his face, which I was told was salt,” Amy Morgan said.

She said she attempted to flush his eyes with water and then saline, but nothing seemed to be working. It wasn’t until she put her son in the car that she got the full story.

Brody claimed one of the teens stole a package from a house down the street. He said Jolly decided to open it, and inside was a tube with powder.

Court documents state Jolly spilled it on Brody’s shirt, which caused Brody to push Jolly away. Police said that then prompted Jolly to throw the powder in Brody’s face.

“We went into the emergency room, and they immediately realized that it was not salt, and they kept trying to get from me what it was, and I had no idea,” Amy Morgan said.

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Doctors would later find out the chemical in Brody’s eyes was a drain declogger.

ABC13 spoke to Jolly’s mom over the phone. While she wasn’t there, she believes the whole incident was a horrible accident.

She said the substance fell out of her son’s hand after Brody “attacked him.”

“She’s his mom. She’s going to try to protect her son, and I don’t blame her,” Amy Morgan said, adding that she has sympathy for Jolly and his family. “I know all of this has to be hard on them, but they are not having to deal with a child that is possibly going to lose his vision or scarring burns on his face.”

Brody’s injuries are very severe, and his recovery process is unpredictable.

“The kind of chemicals they were can still continue to break down,” Amy Morgan said.

Court documents show the other teen told police Jolly threw the substance intentionally. Those documents also show the packaging was clearly labeled drain declogger.

Jolly’s family sent a statement to ABC13 that read in part:

“Our family is very distraught over the details of this case, for both of our families. I’m very saddened by the entire event, and heart goes out to Brody and his family. I believe this incident was NOT an act of malicious intent by my son to harm his friend but an accident resulting from the choices made by all parties involved.”

For updates on this story, follow Alex Bozarjian on FacebookX and Instagram.

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston.