A university professor in China was recently suspended after his abuse of a female street cleaner last week was exposed on local social media.
Identified only by his surname Ge, the lecturer from Shaanxi University of Science and Technology was reportedly driving with a female companion when he came across the street worker, surnamed Liu, in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.
Reportedly agitated that a garbage truck was blocking the driveway, Ge vented out his anger on the sanitation worker, according to China Daily. The professor and his companion alighted from the vehicle and assaulted the cleaner until she was all bloodied.
The attack was witnessed by a netizen who posted images of the incident on Chinese social media platform Weibo last Wednesday.
“I was resting at home when I heard weeping outside my window. I thought it was a child being scolded by their parents but it grew louder and didn’t sound like a child. So, I walked over to my window to check it out. That was when I saw a female street cleaner slowly getting up from the garbage pile on the floor.”
He then saw Ge’s female companion pushing the worker while berating her, screaming: “How much money do I make? How much money do you make? Do you know you’re now keeping me from making money?”
Ge then joined the woman in beating up the worker who was already covered in her own blood.
Unable to bear watching the abuse any longer, Chapai017 said he stepped out and shouted at the couple: “You’re bullying a sanitation worker, don’t you have any shame?”
Realizing that someone actually witnessed their abhorrent behavior, Ge and his companion tried to flee the scene, but were stopped by other passersby who had also arrived upon hearing the ruckus.
In an attempt to justify the violent attack, Ge screamed at the crowd, “She allowed me to beat her!”
The netizen added that he tried to file a police report against the abusers, but was confronted by a man at the station who claimed to be Ge’s assistant. The assistant reasoned out that the professor was not familiar with local customs as he recently arrived from overseas.
Upon learning from the assistant that Ge was a professor at Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, the netizen went out of his way to expose Ge on social media, which eventually led to Ge getting suspended from the university.
In a statement on Sina Weibo, local authorities in Xi’an said Ge would be detained for 10 days and face a fine of 500 yuan ($75) for his actions. It was not reported whether Ge’s female companion was charged for her participation in the assault. She was later identified as Ge’s relative and not affiliated with the university.
Ge has since penned an apology, which the university posted on its Weibo account. Ge said he regrets his actions, and promised to pay for the medical expenses of the cleaner. The university also announced Ge’s suspension, stating that the case will be handled “seriously”, and will be cooperating with the police investigation.