From Sina Weibo:
@大鹏看天下: 2011 July 17th evening, Hefei city in Anhui province. When Tao Rukun, the child of government officials, was unsuccessful in his pursuit of pretty girl Zhou Yan, he charged into Zhou’s home, poured lighter fluid on Zhou Yan’s head, and cruelly lit it, shouting “die!” In a flash, Zhou Yan become a ball of fire, her ear even completely burning off!
His love rejected, a Hefei 17-year-old youth charged into a home, poured gasoline on a tender young girl, and disfigured her with serious burns. According to netizens, the suspect Tao Rukun is the child of a government official, both parents high officials of Hefei city, who used the medical expenses during the victim’s treatment to compel the victim’s family to sign a document absolving them of guilt. At present, the suspect has been released on bail, and has left detention.
The above video has over 200k views since it was uploaded yesterday. Another copy of the same video (with lower quality audio) also uploaded yesterday has over 3 million views.
From Hefei Hotline:
Love rejected, disfigures young girl
According to netizens description, on 2011 September 17th afternoon around 6pm, Hefei boy Tao, as a result of unsuccessfully pursuing girl Zhou, carried a bottle of lighter fluid to Zhou’s home, forced himself in, catching Zhou by surprise, took out the lighter fluid he prepared, doused it over her head, and lit it on fire, all the while shouting repeatedly “die!” When her aunt heard, she rushed over and in a panic used a blanket to smother and extinguish the fire, and called 120 for emergency rescue and the police.
The victim Zhou spent 7 days and 7 nights in the intensive care unit receiving before her life was no longer threatened, but her injuries were extremely severe, her face, neck, chest, and other areas severely burned, one ear burned off, burns covering over 30% of her body, with second and third degree burns, her entire appearance disfigured.
As the victim lay in intensive care ward, Tao’s parents produced documents saying that Tao proactively tried to help and gave himself up, completely not in accordance with the objective truth, for Zhou’s family to sign. After Zhou’s family refused to sign, Tao’s side stopped paying for the medical fees. Unable to pay for the medical bills and already in debt for nearly hundreds of thousands of RMB in medical expenses, the victim had no choice but to be taken out of the hospital.
Boy is “child of government officials”, parents high officials
According to reports, Tao’s father and mother are high officials in the Hefei City Auditing Bureau and Hefei City Planning Bureau respectively. After the incident, Tao’s parents repeatedly requested that the victim’s family agree to Tao being released on bail, even shouting, “Whether you sign or not, I will still strive to to have him released!” Five months after the incident, the victim still has not had her injuries determined, and the case has been unable to progress any further.
Victim’s family begs for help
The innocent girl disfigured, the courts unable to provide a resolution, forced without a choice, the victim’s family went online to ask for help, the original text as follows:
1. They refuse to pay for the medical costs, because their precondition for paying the medical costs is us signing the “statement of facts” they have prepared, which I think we cannot do, because we cannot accept money that violates our conscience;
2. We are unable to have an injury assessment. Some people have helped us by inquiring before, and we believe there is no law that allows the delay and prevention of injury assessments, so we have reason to suspect the other side’s parents, as high officials, have frightening power and influence;
3. They are going to great efforts to have this criminal released on bail, but through legal consultation, a criminal this evil should not be “released”. We don’t know the law, but we cannot wait for this vicious criminal to do something again, because when even his parents cannot control him, who else can; When even his parents cannot guarantee it, who can guarantee that he won’t come kill our entire family? We are workers/laborers, but I think being laborers doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to life. When everyday we are living in fear, may I ask who will help us?!
Comments from Sina Weibo:
Who can understand the fear and hopelessness in this girl’s heart?
Truly unbearable! Beast!
Inhuman! Sick! Such a beautiful young girl!
Sinister to the extreme. Guarding against this kind of immature youth is also difficult, society’s ability to prevent and protect against this needs to be increased.
This is even more evil than Yao Jiaxin. How should this be handled?
I suggest that a law of reciprocation where one gets what one did to others. Have him burned half to death! But make sure he’s not burned to death!
His act was cruel, but what makes people even more angry is that afterward instead of turning himself in and trying to make things right, he instead engaged in suppressing and pressuring [the victim].
Yet another parasite [on society]. It is really annoying seeing this kind of news. Why is this kind of person still alive in the world… Zhou Yan, stay strong.
I already put up with the Kingdom of Heaven’s [China's] government officials ruling with tyranny. That their children are also like this, I must post a microblog and ask, where is the justice? The entire thing is a tragedy, just what kind of Kingdom of Heaven is this? Education and upbringing, the country’s education and upbringing is lacking, and the parent’s education and upbringing are even more lacking.
Everyday there are similar tragedies happening. If justice had a chance, maybe we would only feel bad for the victim’s pain and suffering; But when those in power cover things up, when the perpetrators can avoid responsibility for the victim’s pain and suffering, what we feel more of is anger. And when the power of the masses is unable to bring the perpetrator to justice, all we have left is humiliation.
The children of government officials and the rich are all very vicious these days…
It’s already been almost half a year and only now this is being exposed? From this we can see just how much work the animal’s parents have done [in keeping things covered up and quiet].
Earnestly request everyone to forward/spread this!!! We must not allow the so-called children of government officials be so wanton and unbridled, to so easily ruin the life of an ordinary commoner, and get away with it!! Does our country truly have no law? Are the children of government officials unconstrained by the law?
“Perverse” doesn’t even begin to describe this guy! Such a pretty girl, what is she going to do in the future?!!!
I think this kind of person can be given the death penalty. His parents aren’t fit to be public servants. They’re the scum of the [Communist] Party.
Popular Chinese video sharing website Youku has set up a special page for this news story, featuring various video clips of news reports, including the above and the following:
At the 3:40 mark in the above video clip, which has been viewed over 1.7 million times, Zhou Yan’s mother tearfully shares her daughter saying to her, “Mommy, look how pretty I was. I asked you to take some art/glamor photos of me, but you didn’t want to spend the money, and now I’ll never be able to take such photos anymore.”
What do you think is most urgent for everyone to do right now?
|Donate money to help Zhou Yan||42.3%||
|Punish Tao Rukun||53.2%||
|Have Tao Rukun publicly apologize||2.2%||
What do you think is the main reason 17-year-old “child of government officials” Tao Rukun became so cruel?
|This person is cruel by nature||15.2%||
|Fostered by social conditions||36.1%||
Yesterday, Tao Rukun’s father registered an account on Sina Weibo and posted a single message…
From Sina Weibo:
@合肥陶文: Apology: I am Hefei Auditing Bureau employee Tao Wen and as a result of failing to raise my son properly, my son Tao Rukun has caused irreversible harm and suffering to Zhou Yan and Zhou Yan’s family, for which I express deep remorse and also apologies to the masses of netizens. I will do everything I can to treat Zhou Yan. Tao Rukun has already been detained, the case is being handled according to law, and I will accept the judgement of the law. I absolutely will not evade the legal responsibility I must bear.
Within a day, this microblog post was forwarded over 60k times and currently has over 110k comments.
Comments from Sina Weibo:
Your family is too frightening.
According to reason and morality, your son deserves to die. However, according to the law, it is not punishable by death, so you’re very happy, right? If you appeal to the court to have your son sentenced to death, then we’ll believe you.
Your child is simply a beast! Having such a vicious mentality at such a young age. Destroying the life of a teenage young girl! And what more, from the speech he posted on his school’s discussion forum that netizens have human flesh searched out, it can be seen that your child has always been arrogant. How did you parents raise him? Is it because you yourselves weren’t educated properly that your child learned to be this way? I truly hope a death sentence is given, since he’ll be a harm to society when he grows up anyway!
Yeah, just like a government official, your son is also like the son of a government official.
If we look at it from the perspective of man being fundamentally good, and that something that shouldn’t happen happening, momentary emotional outbursts ought to be tolerated. However, what follows should be looked at and analyzed with rationality. Amongst this, what should be avoided the most is “guilt by association”. Indeed, the child breaking the law cannot be separated from how his parent’s raised him, but we should also confine ourselves to the facts. Relentlessly going after the parents, even relentlessly going after the parent’s identity [as public servants/government officials], that’s a little pathological.
报纸论斤卖： (responding to above)
杨小剑儿：”>Please search online for this boy’s consistently arrogant speech on Baidu Tieba, always arrogantly referring to himself, talking about ruining other people’s lives and the like. The 365jia.cn forum has screenshots. I think any remotely normal family would not bring up this kind of child. He’s only how old, how is he any different from a black society [organized crime] thug?! How much better do you think the parents of this kind of child could be? Is it wrong for netizens to condemn/criticize the parents a bit?
Parents of the children of the rich and children of government officials, can you please wake up? From Li Qiming [son, of Li Gang] and so many others down to your own son, they have destroyed how so many happy families. Stop spoiling them, for yourselves, and especially for the children themselves. Tell me, why doesn’t China have people who punish the wicked? Secretly killing these human scum. Fuck, the more I think about it, the angrier I become.
It’s been half a year and only now you come out and apologize? If it were for the media exposing this, you probably wouldn’t apologize, right? If that were your daughter, what would you do? So cruel, is this something a human could do?!
Put yourself in the shoes of their daughter. What use is an apology? Would you be willing to let her pour gasoline on your son and then apologize to you?
You dog and your pig of a wife gave birth to a dog of a son!
Their family must not be so easily let off.
Previous cases: 2001, Guangzhou, a pretty girl was disfigured, the perpetrator Tang Yongqiang was sentenced to death; 2003, Shanghai, Cheng Jun who poured gasoline on his girlfriend and lit her on fire disfiguring her was given the death sentence; 2004, Fujian, Mao Ximing burned Wei Liqiong and her mother Song Xiujin with concentrated acid, and was sentenced to death.
Hefei Zhou Yan: Mood improves, appreciates the media’s concern
The current state of Zhou Yan’s scarring is revealed in this video (~4:30 mark).
2012 February 28 UPDATE: We have received several comments and emails asking for information on how to help Zhou Yan. Below is a message posted on the verified Tencent Weibo account of Li Cong, Zhou Yan’s mother.
From Tencent Weibo:
@李聪: Statement: We thank everyone for their concern. Netizens have responded that the previously publicized Industrial and Commercial Bank of China [ICBC] account number is not working. The following are our Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China account numbers: Zhou Feng [周峰] 6222 6002 5000 5461 776 Bank of Communications Hefei City Dangtu Road Sub-branch, Li Cong [李聪] 6228 4806 6134 4638 019 Agricultural Bank of China Hefei City Yaohai Sub-branch, Zhou Feng [周峰] 6227 0016 3120 0477 838 China Construction Bank Hefei City Xinkezhan Sub-branch.