Footage of a four-year-old girl being picked up and thrown into another swimming lane by an agitated “foreigner” at a public pool in Beijing’s Chaoyang district is currently trending on Chinese social media, gaining even more attention than news about China’s stock market crash.
The young girl, called Yuan Yuan, had been swimming in the pool with her friends on the afternoon of July 4 when she collided with a man doing laps in the same lane. The man is seen in security footage picking her up and tossing her into the lane next to his.
While the girl wasn’t injured, she was reportedly ‘shaken up’ after being submerged underwater, and burst into tears.
Reports say that the man is a foreigner, although his nationality hasn’t been revealed and it’s hard to make out what he actually looks like in the footage.
The mother of the child, surnamed Zhang, told reporters that the man was completely unapologetic and didn’t bother to stop and check if her daughter was injured. She said she demanded an apology from the man but he refused, so she called the police.
The swimmer in question, only identified as Su Ruiming in Chinese, eventually said he was sorry about the incident and explained that he had been swimming with his face down when he ran into the kid. He said he was just as shocked as she was, and moved her to the other lane so that it wouldn’t happen again.
“I was very angry at that time and was wondering why the parent of the child wasn’t there to supervise her,” he said, adding that he wished to apologize to the young girl and her mother in person.
Watch the demoralizing pool footage that has sent ripples across the Chinese web and try to contain your gasps of horror.
By Crystal Lau