A man has been arrested in Hong Kong after he forced his eight-year-old son to cross a busy road on his knees as a way of punishment for alleged bad behavior.
The father, a 40-year-old surnamed Li, was taken into custody on child abuse charges after video footage showed the young boy being punished in a cruel manner.
At about 9 pm on Monday, Li made his son kneel in public and also forced him to a cross a street on his knees, according to the police.
Apparently, Li had decided on that punishment as the boy was behaving badly in school and had lied about his homework.
Late Monday, Li’s son was seen holding his ears and kneeling near a pedestrian crossing in Lam Tin with the father by the side.
When the traffic light turned green, the 8-year-old was asked to cross the street while still on his knees.
The incident, which took place at about 9 pm, was filmed by a passer-by who confronted Li and also alerted the police, Sing Tao Daily reports.
Li and his son were said to be on their way home when the punishment was handed out to the child.
According to Apple Daily, Li lives at the Sceneway Garden private housing estate in Lam Tin with two sons, who only see their divorced mother on weekends.
Li, who owns a waterproof engineering company, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
The young boy, meanwhile, was taken to a nearby hospital for checkups.
Li told Apple Daily that he is a strict father, and that he only punished his son for bad behavior, which included telling lies.
He insisted that he has done nothing wrong and that he was merely trying to get his child to change his ways.
“If you have children, you have to be responsible for their actions,” he was quoted as saying.
Though his parenting style may have been unorthodox, Li believes he had been a good father who cared a lot about his sons.
Li said his methods had worked on his elder son, who is now 10, but there was not much impact on the younger one.
Wanda Hau Yuet-king, an activist with child welfare group Against Child Abuse, reminded parents that they shouldn’t take impulsive actions against children.
Humiliating and harmful punishments can have long-term damaging effects on children’s emotional well-being, she said.
Senior barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung described the reported Monday incident as “completely outrageous”, pointing out that child abuse is a serious offence.
If a child has been subject to corporal punishment, the father can face charges, Luk said.
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