A violent row erupted in Shandong province two days ago when a teenage girl beat her grandmother on a crowded city street.
The altercation, which occurred on August 3, took place at an intersection in Shandong’s Linyi city, the Yimeng Evening Post reported . According to one witness surnamed Dong, the “unbelievable act” occurred when a teenage girl approached a street sweeping old woman, and after exchanging a few words, began relentlessly pulling at her hair and kicking her. Other witnesses noticed the altercation and tried to pull the girl away, and one male passerby even struck her in an effort to stop her attack.
It wasn’t until the police arrived that the girl stopped beating the old woman and escaped. The old woman, who sustained minor injuries, was escorted to a nearby hospital by local authorities.
“After [I witnessed the attack] I heard that the old woman was actually the girl’s grandmother,” Dong told Yiming Evening Post reporters.
Dong took photos of the incident and posted them online, and her pictures along with those of other Linyi netizens quickly went viral. Online viewers criticised the girl’s behaviour as “hateful”, and many questioned how she was capable of inflicting violence on her own grandmother.
Police later learned that the girl worked at a nearby supermarket, but were unable to locate either her or her mother after the attack. Under current Chinese law, the girl could not be imprisoned for her actions, but could be sentenced to re-education or community service, an officer involved with the case reportedly said.
Reporters later interviewed the injured old woman, whose full name is Gao Kanai, as she recovered at her brother’s house. A 70-year-old Linyi street sweeper who lived in a small flat and made only a meagre living each month, Gao tearfully confirmed that the girl that had attacked her was indeed her 16-year-old granddaughter, who was given the pseudonym Qianqian in the Yinming Evening Post report.
Gao said her family relations had “long been anything but harmonious,” and the altercation with her granddaughter had stemmed from these issues. After Gao’s only son was incarcerated for theft in 2009, a rift opened between Gao and her daughter-in-law, and this uneasy relationship had only been exacerbated when Gao’s former residence was scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt as part of the city’s ongoing urban development programme.
Gao moved and was offered 18,000 yuan (HK$23,000) in compensation, but a fire in her new flat destroyed several of her possessions, including the money. In order to survive, Gao took up street-sweeping, making only 500 yuan a month.
After Gao’s daughter-in-law caught wind of her mother-in-law’s relocation and compensation, she began visiting Gao’s house to ask for the money and refused to believe claims that it had burnt in the fire. Gao said that her daughter-in-law would often curse and hit her, demanding that she turn over the 18,000 yuan.
In the last two years, Qianqian had adopted the same habits, arriving at her grandmother’s house and holding out her hands to demand the money.
“The last time she arrived, I gave her the 500 kuai that I had managed to make after a month of hard work,” Gao told reporters. “But [even after that] she kept accusing me of not returning any of the money to her.”
These tense meetings between grandmother and granddaughter finally culminated in the August 3 row, Gao explained, regretfully saying that she wished that she had been able to provide for her son better, so as to avoid his imprisonment and the resulting falling out with his family. Gao also added that she did not blame Qianqian for her actions, and instead said that a poor family environment had negatively influenced the girl.
“When Qianqian was still little, she was so smart,” Gao said.