A video cliphas been widely spread online showing a woman with her child within an elevator being beaten by a young man after she asked him to stop smoking. The police have been investigating the incident, and the Ministry of Public Security has called for the man to turn himself in. Xinhua News Agency comments:
It is an ugly deed to smoke in an elevator, but it is even uglier when the person smoking assaults someone who asks them to stop.
Some might say that smoking in public areas is a small thing and people should not pay too much attention to it. The problem is, smoking in the public is illegal and if such law-breaking is tolerated it might lead to the broken-window effect, namely if one window is broken and not repaired, vandals tend to break more, and other crimes become rife.
The incident is even worse than the broken-window effect, because a person who asks the lawbreaker to stop breaking the law is attacked. If the lawbreaker goes unpunished, who will dare to stop illegal deeds in the future?
It should be noted that the smoker has broken at least two laws, by smoking in a public place and by assaulting someone. The Ministry of Public Security has already published a description of the assailant on social media platforms, and we hope the local police can quickly catch him.