No charges to be filed in toddler attack

No charges to be filed in toddler attack

CHINA - Police in Chongqing said they could not file criminal charges in a case in which a toddler was brutally attacked by a girl in an elevator, because the girl is only 10 years old.

The girl lives in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region with her mother, who was transferred there for work and took the girl with her on Monday, police said.

The 18-month-old toddler, Li Xinyuan, remained in the intensive care unit at Chongqing Medical University Children's Hospital on Friday, awaiting his first surgical operation next week to deal with his injuries.

"He would cry out when he woke up. He was in stable condition but did not make big progress," Li Shuyong, the boy's father, said on Friday as he relayed information from the child's doctor.

The father could only see his son when the boy was transferred from the ICU for checkups.

Local police neither detained the girl nor filed their investigative findings with prosecutors - which, in a case involving an older assailant would mark the start of a criminal prosecution. In this case, the attacker's young age shields her from criminal charges, the police said.

Dan Xingming, a lawyer for the toddler's family, said the local court accepted the family's civil case on Wednesday. The parents demand 300,000 yuan (S$61,600) in compensation from the girl's family.

A total of 78,000 yuan had been paid as of Friday. Dan is asking the court to freeze the assets of the girl's family.

Li, the toddler's father, said the hospital costs at least 4,000 yuan a day, and the family cannot afford to pay. Both Li and his wife are migrant workers in downtown Chongqing.

Calls to the girl's father were not answered or returned.

The local education bureau in Changshou district, where the incident occurred, will conduct a review of how children's mental health issues are handled, according to the local publicity office. But no detailed information is available at this time, according to Wang Jing, spokesman for Changshou district's publicity office.

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