Chinese university professor suspended over claims he attacked female street cleaner
Academic issues apology and faces police investigation into incident after allegations he assaulted woman circulate online
A university professor in northwestern China has been suspended over an alleged assault on a female street cleaner that is now being investigated by police.
The man and a female relative are accused of hitting and kicking the woman on Wednesday afternoon in a street in Xian, Shaanxi province.
The pair became embroiled in an altercation with the woman, but the cause of their dispute was not reported.
Sohu.com reported that news of the incident had gone viral on Weibo after photos and what claimed to be a detailed eyewitness account of the incident were posted on the social networking site.
The Weibo report claimed that the woman had screamed at the cleaner: “How much money do I make? How much money do you make? You’re stopping me from making money!”
Several people who witnessed the incident reported it to police.
Graphic images taken after the incident showed the cleaner with what appeared to be blood streaming down her face.
Shaanxi University of Science and Technology released a statement via its official Weibo account on Friday morning announcing that the academic had been suspended from his job and that the university was cooperating with the police investigation.
The university also stated that the woman accompanying him was a family member and not another university staff member, as originally assumed by web users.
The post included a handwritten apology letter that the university said had been penned by the professor.
It was addressed to the cleaner and her family, and said: “My actions have caused undeniable harm to the woman and have negatively affected the school’s reputation, which I bitterly regret.
“I wish to express my sincere apologies to the victim and her family, and will cooperate with all relevant departments handling the matter.”
The South China Morning Post has tried to contact the university and professor for comment.