Man arrested in Hong Kong after video shows young son crossing road on his knees
He was held on suspicion of ill-treating eight-year-old boy, who was also seen pulling his ears in minute-long clip
An eight-year-old boy pulled his ears and crossed a busy road on his knees outside a shopping mall on Monday night, prompting police to arrest his father for suspected child abuse.
The primary school student was punished by his father for poor academic performance, a police source said yesterday.
A minute-long video clip online showed the boy, wearing a red jacket and carrying a rucksack, outside Kai Tin Shopping Centre, Lam Tin. Two men were seen standing beside him.
The boy pulled his own ears, then dropped to his knees for about 25 seconds.
Then one of the men, who was wearing a vest jacket, signalled for him to move.
The child then crossed the road on his knees.
On reaching the pavement, the boy briefly stood up, then knelt again in front of the man in the vest before they left.
A man was heard saying “ridiculous” on the video clip and the incident drew some onlookers. Police were called after receiving calls from passers-by.
One of the witnesses told police the boy crawled on his knees to cross the road from the shopping centre to exit A of Lam Tin MTR station.
“A passer-by said the suspect scolded the victim and ordered him to kneel on the floor,” a police report said.
The boy and his 40-year-old father were found outside a Lam Tin MTR station exit, off Kai Tin Road when officers arrived.
Officers believe the pair were on the way to their home in Sceneway Garden near the station at the time of the incident.
The boy who suffered no obvious injuries was taken to the United Christian Hospital, Lam Tin, for a medical examination.
His father, a merchant, was arrested on suspicion of ill-treating the boy, police said yesterday. He was later released on bail pending further investigation.
A police source said the boy was still in hospital on Tuesday and that a child psychologist would talk to him. The Social Welfare Department said social workers were following up the case after receiving a referral from the hospital.
Billy Wong Wai-yuk, executive secretary of the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights, said such belittling was a form of corporal punishment that would lead a child to feel humiliated in public and could damage his psychological development.
She said the ill-effects might linger so that when such children become adults and have families of their own, they may use similar punishments on their children.
Figures from the Social Welfare Department showed there were 653 newly reported child abuse cases in the first nine months of last year, with parents making up 58.4 per cent of the alleged abusers.