An American man was arraigned in a Guangzhou court yesterday for destruction of private property. Michael Edward Lovett allegedly flew into a rage one late evening past April, when a China Construction Bank ATM mistakenly confiscated his bank card (which happens in China when an incorrect PIN is entered the third time). Mr. Lovett was then caught on surveillance cameras shattering the ATM screen and then completely destroying the machine — all in a failed attempt to get his card back. He was arrested the following afternoon at his hotel.
During his court appearance, Mr. Lovett appeared genuinely contrite, apologized profusely and did not contest any of the charges. Lovett’s attorney cited his client’s recent unemployment (previously an English teacher) and his stolen wallet and passport for his foul mood and pleaded for leniency. His lawyer also mentioned Mr. Lovett’s positive contribution to Sino-American cultural exchange over the years as an English teacher. The judge is still mulling over the final sentence — we’ll keep you posted.
More information is available at Sohu.com (in Chinese).