A video of teenagers attacking a younger boy before abandoning him in a rice field in Lingshan county, Guangxi province, has emerged (video below).
Authorities found out about the case on Jan. 6, and detained five suspects in connection with the alleged attack on the 12-year-old boy, reports the People's Daily Online.
One of the alleged attackers claims the victim had stolen his cellphone. The incident was filmed by one of the alleged bullies and posted online.
The clip shows how the young boy made to sit on the floor while one teenager whips him with a stick and another films the episode on his smartphone.
The group of teens then go further, tying the boy’s hands and legs together, making sure he cannot flee. They then throw the 12-year-old into a rice paddy full of water.
Police opened an investigation into the incident on Jan. 6 and arrested the five suspects on the same day.
Two suspects were identified only by their last names. Huang, 18, and Zhang, 16, have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.
The other three suspects were not arrested because they are minors. Huang told authorities the boy had stolen his smartphone and so he and four other friends went to hunt him down.
Huang says the boy admitted to stealing the cellphone but it had then been taken from him by someone else, reports People's Daily China. The boy said he was unable to pay for the phone.
The 12-year-old boy’s father died and his mother abandoned him, so he lives with his uncle.
After learning he wouldn't be compensated for the phone, Huang and his friends allegedly kidnapped the boy and drove him to the edge of town to teach him a lesson.
The boy was treated in hospital for minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing.