Three months ago, a man who tried to criticise a student for spitting on the street was killed, following a fight with that student. However, the court did not punish the student, nor did the student’s family pay any compensation to the victim’s family, who are now living in poverty. Netizens have reacted strongly to the court’s soft treatment of the criminal and sympathised with the victim’s family.
Father beaten to death while reprimanding high school students, family of five left with no support
In Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, a man in his thirties was beaten to death by high school students after scolding them for spitting on the street. His surviving family is now faced with twice the pain due to extreme difficulties in maintaining their livelihood.
Around 00:20 on July 21st, Kim (aged 39) returned home from dinner with his work colleagues. It was late, but he headed out again with his wife Yoo (aged 32) and his youngest son (aged 5) because his son pestered him to get him a toy.
At a convenience store near his house, he found that he was 4000 won short to buy a toy car that his son wanted, and sent his wife to bring more money. The incident occurred at this point; he saw high school students spitting on the street in front of the store, and told them to stop it. When they ignored him, he grabbed a student by the collar.
The student’s friend, Kim (aged 16), protested strongly against the act. A passer-by, Shin (aged 20), took part in the quarrel which developed into a fight. During this fight, the father was knocked to the ground by the student’s kick, hitting his head on the ground.
All of this happened within the mere 5~6 minutes until his wife returned. His youngest son was watching everything from a nearby spot. The father went through a major 8 hour long operation but died around 4:30 PM on July 27th.
Three months have passed since his death, but the surviving family is suffering from increasing pain.
The deceased Kim was a reliable breadwinner of the family that included his old mother who cannot move around well, his wife Yoo and three sons aged 12, 9 and 5. Despite the poverty, he earned a living by working in a car wash.
Kim worked very hard, doing all sorts of work ranging from speed dispatch and plastic moulding in a factory, to car washing. He was a diligent husband and father who never told his family how hard his work was and volunteered for neighbourhood patrol for over 15 years.
His wife used to work with car parts to earn money but has stopped working as the children started showing extreme anxiety since their father’s death.
The student’s family visited the hospital every day during the late Kim’s stay there after the incident. They persuaded her that they will be responsible for all the hospital bills and funeral expenses, even if they had to take out a loan to cover them, telling her ‘the survivors should go on living.’ Trusting them, Yoo told the police she did not want any punishment [against the student].
But her confession led to yet more pain. The court of justice cancelled the warrant issued to the student for bodily injury resulting in death, and the student’s family promptly severed contact.
Later the public prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for the student, considering that there was not even an agreement on hospital bills between the student’s family and the late Kim’s family. However, the court cancelled this warrant as well, because ‘the victim partly provoked the violence.’
Yoo said the pain of losing her husband was devastating enough, but she struggled to cope with the funeral expenses since they were so poor. ‘I am regretting that I returned home alone that day from the store and I said to the police that I don’t want any punishment,’ she added.
She is supporting the remaining family of her ill mother-in-law and her three sons in a damp, mouldy semi-basement house that leaks rain. There are three bedrooms in the house but they have never slept in the bedrooms because they are covered in mould so the family of five sleep on a slab of polystyrene in the living room instead. Even the living room is cold because the gas supply was cut off three years ago when they could not pay the bills.
‘The youngest son, who witnessed the entire incident, bursts into tears in fear when he sees an older boy and trembles with fear at an ambulance saying somebody must be dead,’ Yoo said. She felt bitter about the student’s family, who did not even pay a visit to the funeral, even though her family was completely ruined [by the incident].
The old mother of the deceased said he was a kind and generous person. ‘I still cannot believe his death. I feel that he might as well come through that door,’ she said, tearfully. She also felt sorry for her daughter-in-law, who she said ‘married a poor guy at a young age and suffered so much.’
The incident was terminated by the prosecutors charging without detention the student Kim and passer-by Shin on 29th, but the pain felt by the victim’s family carries on.
Comments from Nate:
ke ke ke ke ke ke the victim partly provoked the violence? Did the judge who said this partly provoke violence, so the victim’s family beat the judge to death?
Scolding young students for their wrongdoing is regarded as provoking violence. So this means the public prosecutors dictated the citizens’ code of conduct, that we should ignore whatever other people are doing~~ Aha
Does it agree with common sense to charge without detention and cancel the warrant when someone DIED?
OMG how can the student and his family cut off all contact right away? They are complete garbage. It wouldn’t be enough if they took responsibility [for the victim's family] for a lifetime. A family is ruined by a piece of garbage from the waste ground
That high schooler should disappear from this country. Why the death of an innocent and good person? That fucking sob.
I know Korea’s public order is well kept, but it really isn’t right that they do what they do to the captured criminal. There surely is a best shield, but the weapon used is a cotton swab. I sincerely wish the level of punishment to criminals is increased.
‘The student’s family visited the hospital every day during the late Kim’s stay there after the incident. They persuaded her that they will be responsible for all the hospital bills and funeral expenses, even if they had to take out a loan to cover them, telling her ‘the survivors should go on living.’ Trusting them, Yoo told to the police that she did not want any punishment [against the student]. But her confession led to yet more pain. The court of justice cancelled the warrant issued to the student for bodily injury resulting in death, and the student’s family promptly severed contact’. …………………………………These people are not humans
Oh my god ke ke ke the victim partly provoked the violence? Does the judge wish Korea to become China? Does the judge view that it was a provocation of violence to grab someone’s throat during the discipline of an adolescent? Then the teachers who punish students by beating them deserve to die? What a state we are in, ke ke ke We should replace our legal circles ke ke ke The judges only make impractical and unrealistic judgements. Useless idiots
Reveal the contact details or identity of the assailant. We will kill him
The criminal lives in peace and the victim in shadow. What a great country we have….
Those people are worse than a brute.. That is a kind of fraud.. They killed a person, settled the problem with the victim’s family and then fled.. The laws are problematic, but the student’s family is even worse – they are garbage
[The judges] used to study hard [to get to their position], never paying attention to other people. Does that habit affect their judgement, too?