Foreign male beaten up for stopping thief, people fail to help
“Only when everyone helps each other will thieves know that they must pay a price to commit a crime here, but the current situation is completely the opposite. With this experience, if I were to run into a similar situation next time, I won’t nor dare to help.”
“These thieves all carry knives on them, and what more there were around 10 people in the entire gang. Yesterday allowing a laowai to face these thieves alone is indeed quite embarrassing for Chinese people. If there is a similar situation next time, I will definitely call my coworkers and together act to stop it.”
—-Neighbor Li Liang
An incident where our countrymen have stood by watching while a laowai rendered aid has once again happened in China, this time in Dongguan.
Two evenings ago, on the crosswalk in front of the Dongcheng Haiya department store entrance in Dongguang, a woman had her bag thieved. A Brazilian man acted to stop it, unexpectedly being beaten up by the thief’s gang in revenge. During that time, dozens of passersby were on the scene but no one attempted to help. Witnesses say that less than 30 meters away were two on-duty public security personnel, the two of them refusing to intervene because the incident was outside of their jurisdiction.
This kind of experience has left the Brazilian man rendered assistance disillusioned and while receiving medical attention afterward said he would not help nor dare to help the next time he encounters a similar situation.
Violently beaten for stopping pickpocketing
The area near Dongcheng Haiya Department Store is known as Dongguan’s “golden shopping corridor”, with lots of foot traffic and bustling with activity.
Two evenings ago at around 7:30pm, Miss Zhu who lived behind the Haiya Department Store put on her gym clothes planning to go to the Heping Gym across the street to exercise. As she reached the middle of the crosswalk, the light turned red, so she stopped [at the center island of the road]. Suddenly, Miss Zhu heard a disturbance behind her, and when she turned around to look, three men had already come to blows behind her, with one of them being a slightly plump foreigner with slightly curly hair also wearing gym clothes.
Miss Zhu says her first reaction at the time was that this laowai is really something, even daring to come to China and pick a fight with Chinese people. However, just as she was still thinking of watching the fuss, several of the people beside her told her, “that laowai is being beaten because of you.” These pedestrians said a thief had pulled open the gym bag Miss Zhu was carrying to steal something, that a lot of people had seen but didn’t dare make a sound, and only this laowai acted to stop it, only to be attacked.
Very quickly, the outnumbered laowai being beaten ran to the first floor lobby of the Junhao Center opposite the Haiya Department Store. Heping Gym membership department employee Li Liang (pseudonym) who was at the time in front of the lobby doors marketing membership cards saw that as the laowai rushed into the lobby, three thieves chased him down, with one of the thieves carrying a stick/rod, raising it and whacking the laowai on the head, while another thief pulled off his leather belt and whipped the laowai on his back and both arms with the metal belt buckle. Yet another thief had randomly picked up a broom and pointed the head of the broom at onlooking passersby ordering the onlooking passersby to all “get lost.”
Li Liang says the entire beating probably lasted 2-3 minutes, the laowai unable to fight back at all, only able to stand there and take the blows, and after only 3-5 blows his head started bleeding, covering his eyes, with blood on his clothes and shoes. Li Liang also says there were at least over 30 people on the scene, no one daring to act to help, and only when those thieves had left did people go forward to ask if [the foreigner] needed help.
Onlookers have made the laowai disillusioned
The first person to go forward to ask if the laowai if he needed help was Xiao Tang (pseudonym), a teacher from Dongguan Songshanhu Middle School. He at the time was on his way to go eat at a nearby KFC, and just happened to run into this beating. Teacher Tang had has been robbed before, so he particularly hates thieves, wanted to go forward and help, but at this moment, he saw that no more than 30 meters in front of them happened to be two on-duty public security personnel. Teacher Tang rushed over to ask them to help, but unexpectedly the public security personnel said: “That isn’t our jurisdiction, we can’t do anything about it.” Failing to persuade them, Teacher Tang could only helplessly go back.
Teacher Tang said, “I really regret stopping to get the public security personnel rather than rushing forward immediately to help.” Afterward, Teacher Tang and Miss Zhu took the laowai whose faced was covered with blood to the nearby Donghua Hospital for medical attention.
Yesterday morning, after getting over 10 stitches on his head, this laowai who had been beaten expressed to this reporter his disappointment. He calls himself Mozen, is 27 years old this year, is from Brazil, and has been in Dongguang engaged in the shoe trade for 3 years now. Mozen says he was preparing to go work out at the time, and as he reached the crosswalk, he noticed someone beside him pointing from which he saw in front of him a thief in the act of thieving from a bag and instinctively went forward to stop this behavior.
Mozen at the time was carrying an umbrella in one hand and some assorted items in the other hand, so he used his umbrella and tapped the thief’s arm. After tapping twice, the thief finally stopped his thieving, turned around and began chasing and attacking Mozen. Mozen says he thinks the thief attacking him is very normal, but he thinks no one helping him is very abnormal. “Because this society needs people mutually helping each other. I’m always around Junhao Business Center, so essentially most people at the center all know me, yet not a single person helped me, so this makes me feel very disappointed, very disillusioned.” Mozen believes that only when everyone helps each other will thieves know that they must pay a price to commit a crime here, but the current situation is completely the opposite.
Spring Festival he had tackled a thief before, but with this experience, if he were to encounter a similar situation next time, he won’t help nor dare to help again.
Old neighbor reflects with shame
Mozen’s disillusionment has made many nearby Haiya Department Store residents feel ashamed. Yesterday, this reporter retraced the path where the incident occurred, finding multiple neighborhood residents who were bystanders at the time. After hearing what Mozen had said and while explaining why they wouldn’t dare act to help, these neighbors also expressed remorse.
Li Liang says the gang of thieves that beat up the laowai has been entrenched in the Haiya Department Store area for many years, are becoming bolder and bolder, previously slipping away when caught by the victim of their crimes, but now often beating up the victim. In the hour before Mozen had been beaten up for stopping the thievery, there had already been a woman bicyclist who had her mobile phone pick-pocketed. When the victim chased the thief demanding her mobile phone back, the thief even retaliated by slapping the woman in the face. The woman began crying on the stop but no one dared to go forward to help, with only three primary school students denouncing the thief a little, and these thieves then even started chasing and attacking these primary schoolers.
Li Liang believes these thieves all carry knives on them, and what more there were around 10 people in the entire gang. If one was to fight back alone, anyone would be afraid, but if everyone worked together, it should be possible to scare them. He says, thinking back, letting a laowai face these thieves alone yesterday is indeed quite embarrassing for Chinese people. If there is a similar situation next time, I will definitely call my coworkers and together act to stop it.”
Mr. Wang, who also works in Junhao, expressed another point of view. Mr. Wang said, “When the laowai was being beaten, two public security personnel clearly saw but would not come out to stop it, so how can you expect us ordinary commoners to do anything?” Mr. Wang believes the police are responsible for dealing with this, not the ordinary people, that only when police personnel take action will this area be safe.
At present, Dongcheng police have already gotten involved in investigating this case. The police say they have already launched a large-scale manhunt and are working hard to quickly apprehend the suspects involved. As for the victim Miss Zhu’s suggestion that Mozen’s actions were a display of heroically doing what is right that ought to received official commendation, police say that according to the victim and witnesses’ statements, Mozen’s actions are indeed chivalrous, but whether or not it can be defined as heroism must wait for additional investigation to verify.
Comments from NetEase:
This young Brazilian guy doesn’t understand the circumstances/conditions of China!
“Li Liang believes these thieves all carry knives on them, and what more there were around 10 people in the entire gang. If one was to fight back alone, anyone would be afraid, but if everyone worked together, it should be possible to scare them.”
Hehe, if everyone could work as one, then the situation in this country would’ve changed long ago. It is precisely because our countrymen don’t work together that the sky remains dark [things remain bad].
Resolutely oppose meddling in internal affairs!
According to reason, doing what is right is inadvisable, because if you can’t beat them, you’re just letting yourself be beaten, even risking your life, and if you can beat them you’d risk beating them and getting into legal trouble. This kind of thing is best left to the police, but the police are too lazy to care, as very few theft cases are taken. Who told you to be unlucky and be born in China!?
You thought we were an evil capitalist country?
Our law here doesn’t protect those who do the right thing.
Only proves yet again that the slogan you shout is what is lacking.
If you shout everyday to serve the people, it is because there is a lack of serving the people.
If you shout everyday to do what is right, it is because everyone doesn’t do what is right.
If you shout everyday to be patriotic, I just love my own family, protecting my own family is important, patriotism can go to shit/hell.
Those countries that don’t shout slogans, the people live with dignity, have democracy, have freedom, have people doing what is right, have people getting pleasure from helping others, the thieves and criminals there like a rat running across the street [public enemies].
When you guys [foreigners] come here, did your relevant government departments not remind you guys to take note of the different circumstances of different countries? We all get prompt reminders, your relevant departments are irresponsible.
Strongly condemn this Brazilian guy. The Brazilian guy’s behavior does not conform to his role and responsibilities, with continuous “little tricks”. This forces people to ask, is it the role and responsibility of this Brazilian guy to to develop the relationship between the two countries of China and Brazil, to eliminate the mutual misunderstandings and divide, or is it to deliberately to come to Chinese society to pick fault and cause trouble in order to create new and even larger divide in the relationship between China and Brazil? To stop a thief from stealing on Chinese territory, to do what is right, what we see is not a prudent and cautious foreign young man but a typical Brazilian politician intentionally stirring up contradictions and trouble! … (elipsis) 1.3 billion Chinese people are not so easily deceived, nor so easily exploited, and those who hope to provoke incidents to meddle, threaten, and defame China are truly too naive.
[Note: The above is a parody of the Beijing Daily newspaper’s recent editorial criticizing United States ambassador Gary Locke.]
Hehe. A country and nationality like this everyday shouting about attacking Tokyo and wiping out little Japan…truly laughable!