Boy sent to martial arts club in China dies on 2nd day of enrolment, three arrested
He was sent to a martial arts club to pick up self-defence lessons, but instead, an eight-year-old boy in China was allegedly beaten and left for dead by the very trainer meant to protect him, on the second day of his enrolment.
The boy’s parents had signed him up for a year’s worth of lessons at the Chongde Juying Martial Arts Sports Club starting on June 17, paying a reported 7,680 yuan (S$1,440) for him to be trained at the club in Qingdao, Shandong.
But on June 18, he was taken to the Third People’s Hospital in the eastern Chinese province’s Chenyang district and was declared dead on arrival. Medical records cited by Chinese daily The Paper revealed that his heart had stopped around 20 minutes before he reached the hospital.
The Chenyang branch of Qingdao’s Public Security Bureau said in a statement on Monday that three people linked to the club, including the couple in charge of the club and one coach, were arrested at around 2pm on June 18 over an alleged criminal case of intentional harm that led to one death.
Investigations are ongoing, with the club’s operations halted.
In a video that has been circulated online, a man can be seen attempting to prop up a boy, who is apparently feeling faint, on a chair in what appears to be a classroom. The boy, who is wearing an orange T-shirt with the martial arts club’s name on its back, falls out of his seat onto the floor as soon as the man stops supporting him.
As he lies motionless on the floor, a woman’s voice can be heard saying: “If you keep doing this, your mum has told me, she will not pick you up for one year.”
The boy can be heard claiming that he was “kicked” by a coach, leading the woman to question other children, who are all wearing the club’s orange T-shirt.
The boy’s father, identified as Mr Zhai, told China Newsweek that the club’s owner had sent the parents a video of the boy at around 11am on June 18.
As the mother noticed her son was looking unusually pale, she asked the owner to monitor his condition.
But at around 1.50pm, the family received news from the owner that the boy was not going to make it, shortly before confirmation of his death.
The mother said the boy was bruised in many areas, particularly his legs. She blamed the club’s coaches for not sending her son for treatment promptly.
According to publicly available information, the martial arts club was registered just over two months ago in April, and had set out to “nurture and technically train martial arts talents”, as well as to expand martial arts competitions and performances.