A 10-year-old Chinese girl allegedly randomly attacked a one-year-old boy, taking him from his grandmother, hitting him, and throwing him from a 25th floor balcony.
The boy, who police named Yuanyuan, survived the attack, but was badly injured.
Now residents are outraged to learn the 10-year-old girl, named Li, and her mother have fled the city for the western region of Xinjiang, without punishment.
Angry residents took to the Sina Weibo microblog service, China’s version of Twitter, to vent their frustration.
“If we let go of her for the sake of humanity, she will turn into a female Jack the Ripper in ten years,” wrote one blogger. “Her age is a shield for her but a time bomb for society. We should disarm it by sentencing her to life imprisonment, or death.”
“As a mother, I strongly suggest the girl devil and her family be severely punished,” wrote another. “Otherwise, the public’s anger cannot be appeased. Death or 20 years in prison. Or let the public deal with her. Why does the law protect her? Is she a human being? She is an animal!”
Security footage in the apartment building shows Yuanyuan on an elevator with his grandmother. They are coming off just as Li is getting home from school. While the grandmother exits the elevator carrying Yuanyuan’s bike, Li gets onto the elevator going up and keeps the boy with her. She hits the button for the 25th floor and beats the little boy on the way up.
On the video, with her backpack still on her back, Li picked the boy up and slams him on the ground. She hits and kicks him.
She later throws Yuanyuan off the 25th floor balcony. He was found in the bushes outside the building.
Yuanyuan requires major surgery, but is too weak to operate. Doctors are currently trying to stabilize his condition.
The girl’s family reportedly paid 58,000 renminbi, or about $9,500, to compensate the toddler’s family before they left the region. But Yuanyuan’s family plans to sue Li’s parents in criminal court.
Chongqing police say the 10-year-old can’t face criminal punishment because of her age.
“Our country’s age of criminal responsibility is 14, so in the case of this girl, she will certainly not face any legal responsibility,” said Hong Daode, an attorney at the China University of Political Science and Law.