A baby sitter who allegedly struck a baby multiple times in an elevator in Zhengzhou, Henan province, has been detained after a video of the assault aroused public outrage during the past week, local police said over the weekend.
The public security bureau on the city's Dongfeng Road posted a statement on Saturday evening verifying the suspect as a 42-year-old baby sitter surnamed Li. It said the woman is under administrative detention for assault.
"We received a report saying the woman hit the baby while taking an elevator in her community at around 6 pm on Tuesday," the police said in the statement. "We quickly came to the scene and controlled the baby sitter. Surveillance camera footage we obtained clearly showed her offense in the elevator."
Further investigation is underway, it added.
Information about the baby, including the age, gender and the health condition, were not disclosed.
Beijing News quoted a community management officer as saying on Sunday that the child is doing well. A neighbor of the family told the paper that the child is currently being cared for by a relative.
The case aroused intense public attention as the video, which showed the woman in the act of assault, spread online over the past week.
In the video, the woman, wearing a black down jacket, red pants and glasses, picked up the baby from another person on the 29th floor of the building. After the elevator's door closed, she first struck the crying baby's belly, followed by its head and back. Within one-minute in the elevator, she struck the baby 14 times, the video showed.
Many netizens, together with members of the Chinese media, expressed anger and forwarded the video to police, hoping the authorities would investigate the case and identify the woman.
Cases of baby sitters abusing infants have come to light more than once this year.
Last month, an official website in Shandong province reported that a baby sitter was given 14 days of administrative detention after she slapped a 1-year-old child. The baby sitter's company also paid 3,000 yuan (3) in compensation to the child's family.
Chutian Metropolis Daily, a newspaper based in Hubei province, also reported in April that parents of a 2-year-old girl called police after they found that their baby sitter had assaulted the child－kicking her and pushing her down－when they were not home.
Hong Daode, a professor of criminal law at China University of Political Science and Law, said the punishment for such baby sitters depends on how seriously they hurt the child. "If the damage is severe, the offender may face criminal liability for intentional injury," he said.
If the harm is not great, administrative detention and compensation are the more common means of punishment, he said.