Chinese man’s violent bus attack leaves boy, 7, in hospital – but draws surprising reactions

Police detain man after he stamps repeatedly on seven-year-old’s head as the child travels home from school alone

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 1:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 10:47am

A man has been detained for violently attacking a seven-year-old boy on a public bus in southwest China.

Footage from security cameras showed a seated male passenger saying a few words to the boy, who had his back to him. The boy turned in response and kicked the man lightly three times.

After the third kick, the man grabbed the child by the scruff of his neck, spun him around and threw him to the floor before stomping on his head three times.

The incident occurred on Friday as the boy was travelling home from school, alone, in Suining city, Sichuan province, Toutiao news reported. He did not know the male passenger, it added.

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The attack was witnessed by a number of adult passengers and at least one child. One woman stopped the man and tried to pick up the child, who was slumped on the floor.

He briefly tried to pick himself up before collapsing again. A couple then alerted the bus driver, before the woman called the police. Footage showed the attacker looking on, seemingly unfazed.

The male passenger – who is 21 years old, according to Thepaper.cn, and identified only by his surname, Guo – was detained for 15 days and placed under further investigation.

Guo claimed that he was under a lot of work-related stress and the boy would not be quiet, Toutiao reported. He said he asked the boy to sit down and be quiet, before the boy kicked him.

“I am sincerely sorry to the child and the child’s family,” he was quoted as saying. The boy remains in hospital but with no serious injuries.

“He is often naughty, but isn’t a child who provokes people,” his father was quoted as saying in Thepaper.cn. The boy took the bus by himself because both parents worked, it added.

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Guo’s violent response to being pestered stirred up a storm on social media over the weekend, with a surprising number of people saying the boy deserved it and blaming the parents for his lack of respect.

“If parents don’t educate children well, society does,” one person commented under the video on Weibo, while another said, “I hope he remembers this lesson. This is a good thing.”

“He did what I don’t dare to do,” a third said of the man’s actions, adding a thumbs-up emoji.

Most, however, were more sympathetic to the child and argued that the man went too far.

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“An adult shouldn’t treat a child like this. The kid is annoying and you could beat him, but this is really sick,” one user said, while another posted: “The child is wrong, but this is too extreme.”

The attack followed an incident last week in which a pregnant woman experienced a backlash when she deliberately tripped a four-year-old boy who had slammed a plastic door curtain in her face.

In both instances, people have complained about China’s “little brats”, or “little emperors”, who are only sons known for being spoiled by their parents.