Man Gets Off Scot Free After Throwing 2 Year Old Off 3rd Floor

From Yonhap News:

Court Declares Innocent Developmentally Disabled Man Who Throws Two Year Old Off Building and Kills Him

autistic korean man throws two year old baby off third floor busan district court

On May 18, the court declared innocent a developmentally disabled man who threw a two year off the third floor bannister of the emergency staircase.

The 7th Criminal Investigation Department of the Busan District Court declared Mr. Lee innocent of the alleged murder of a two year old baby.

He was also dismissed of medical and protective custody, as well as claim requests.

The justice department explained the innocence ruling, saying, “We acknowledge the killing, but as Mr. Lee had severe autism which is a level 1 developmental disability, he either could not distinguish between objects, or make his own decision when he committed the murder, so we cannot press charges.”

On the afternoon of December 3 last year, at 4:06 PM, in the third floor of a social welfare office in Busan, Saha-gu, Mr. Lee came across two year old baby A, and brought him to the outside bannister of the emergency stairs. He was charged with murdering the baby by throwing him from a height of 9.2m.

A’s mother, who saw Mr. Lee bring A to the outside emergency staircase said, “Don’t do this,” and grabbed Mr. Lee, scuffling with him but she was unable to prevent the disaster because he suddenly threw the baby.

A’s parents are “speechless” at the court’s ruling of innocence.

The prosecution are protesting the decision, and plan to appeal.

Comments from Naver:


So they’re saying that mentally disabled people have a license to kill??


I don’t think this is right.


Regardless, ruling him innocent is out of line.


In my opinion, it seems right for A’s then guardian or parents to be punished. Their professional negligence resulted in the death of the baby.


It’s hard to make a ruling in this kind of situation. You obviously can’t completely let developmentally disabled people off the hook, but you can’t tell them “You killed someone so you get the same sentencing.” In any case, the parents of the child must be heartbroken, so before arguing over the appropriateness of the sentence, we should first think about how the parents feel.


I’m not sure about the punishment for him, but he should at least be separated from the rest of society.


Then the family or the person responsible for looking after the physically disabled person should be punished. A two-year old child was killed, but no one is being held responsible? Is this country in its right state of mind? I am eagerly anticipating the higher courts’ different ruling in this case.


This isn’t right. The judges are wrong. Even if we say the man was not in a sound state of mind, this is an inappropriate ruling in regards to the developmentally disabled man and the victim’s parents. It would be natural for people to be repulsed by and biased towards people who are not in their right state of mind. If someone is not in a sound state of mind, then do they really receive a license to kill?


I really pity the baby…A two year old at the age when he should be starting to crawl..I don’t think this is right. There should be a limit to how much leeway you give mentally disabled people..


Even if he was unable to distinguish between objects, it’s going too far to dismiss the disposition of protective custody.


It looks like developmentally disabled people have a license to kill.

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  • John

    I was quite taken aback reading this article. Strange and terrible things can and do happen and it’s quite sad when a child is involved. My sincere condolences to the family. I understand the need to take into account the developmentally challenged man’s condition, but he is clearly a danger to society. I would say he needs to be confined to a mental institution indefinitely.

  • RegisterToPost

    What was the reasoning behind not institutionalizing him?

    • poop

      That’s what I’m wondering. He doesn’t have to be put into doing slave labor, but institutionalizing him doesn’t seem like it should have been out of question.

    • Sid Driver

      Korea still has a stigma towards mental patients and the disabled and don’t have the proper services or facilities to treat/deal with these people. That being said, you do have an excellent point. They need to do something to prevent him from being able to do this again. =(

      • chucky3176

        This is absolutely not true. OECD cited Korea as having too many mental hospitals, with over 80,000 beds. That’s because too many people are forcibly confined to the hospitals without any consent of the individuals, by their relatives. There are often cases where perfectly fine people are hospitalized by their relatives over inheritances. All they have to do is pick up a phone and sign a document, then an ambulance with burly men comes and take you away. They don’t need court orders.

        • MikeinGyeonggi

          Yep. The stigma surrounding mental illness just makes it easier to institutionalize people against their will.

        • Boris

          It seems when the illness is real, Koreans like to hide it from the public because of gossip and face (though I think it is much the same in most parts of the world).

          When it can be used for self advantage, people will put in fit individuals and don’t care about the gossip.

          If what you are saying is true, those ‘mental hospitals’ probably don’t have qualified people running them and they are probably just done for profit.

  • tomoe723

    Who on earth would leave a baby with an autistic person? The parents are stupid and should be charged with criminal negligence.

    • Yaminah Jamison

      There’s many people autistic parents out there. It isn’t downs syndrome. And autism is a whole, wide spectrum with varying degrees. Can’t say how exactly he is since we don’t know him, but let’s not act like autistic people can’t be parents.

      Want to point out the mother was there so he wasn’t left alone with his child.

      • tomoe723

        Autistic parents are an exception. Fact of the matter is, those parents obviously know the severity of that man’s autism. Or else, why would the judge rule him innocent?

        I’m not an expert in autism, but I presume this autism you speak of in parents manifests after their children are into their teens or mid life. Still doesn’t warrant leaving a baby into their care.

        • Yaminah Jamison

          But then I question the relationship of the two patents of the baby. Because if they were in decent terms (and enough to engage in sex) wouldn’t the child’s mother be fearful or at least have questioning thoughts of the autistic father? I don’t know why they were fighting. Could be he didn’t have custody or she kept him away from the child , or that it was just a small fight that escalated into that. If the firmer, I could kinda understand the verdict, but if the latter well… I question his severe autism. And if he was still active with the mother and child, I assume she was able to deal with him and so… why would he need his parents with him?

          That background info is important.

          • tomoe723

            The autistic man is not the father of the baby. He just came across the unattended baby and decided to throw it off the balcony.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    I was originally surprised by the verdict when I saw the title, but then I read that the man has severe autism. While I can’t say he’s blameless, I can see why the judge ruled this way.

    Still, I feel like “100% innocent” isn’t the right way to go. Definitely should separate the guy from society, he’s a danger to others and himself even though he has no malicious intent it seems.

    Also, why was there a baby left unattended?!?

    • Boris

      Too many questions, not enough details to get an answer from this article.

      People with any mental health issues/conditions make such things difficult. Sometimes people with such conditions can be normal but then one day cross the line. Other times it can be hard to spot. I had a neighbour who suffered from schizophrenia. His parents got him to get checked out but he managed to fool the doctors into thinking he wasn’t suffering. He ended up killing his mum.

      From what I heard, he thought his mother was replaced by another person and is trying to hurt his dad. When the doctors came to look at him, he had thought it was his ‘fake’ mothers way of trying to remove an obstacle.

      Everyone who had met him didn’t realise or even knew he had issues. It is hard to tell when such things happen. I do believe that the guy in the article should be put into an institution. I think if there are signs then maybe it is better to have such people put in to an institution before they can do harm. Although, it must be tough to decide. Too early and it could have an adverse affect on their current state. Too late and something like the above can happen.

  • commander

    Unspeakable anger and grief for parents.

    Although an insanity-based claim of innocence, if proved, is widely acknowledged in courts in many countries, it is necessary to put in place an oversight system for the mentally impaired especially when they are likely to turn violent and aggressive.

    In this case, the mentally retarded man threw the baby out of the building railings, leaving the baby instantly dead.

    Isn’t it possible to hold accountable a custodian of the man for leaving the guy acting out violently? The custodian is supposed to not let him wander and inflict harm on others because insanity only serve as an immunity to criminal punishment and doesn’t give the license to murder.

    • Yaminah Jamison

      Well, i do want to point out that autism isn’t the same as being mentally retarded /challenged (that’s mainly reserved with down’s syndrome) and those are two different developments.

      • commander

        Whatever the dissimilarities between the two mental conditons, the point is that the man committed the crime without knowing what he was trying to do.

    • 금정산

      You are right, unspeakable anger and grief.

      I guess it’s a difficult situation where people with such conditions are very rarely at risk of hurting others, so it isn’t fair to take their freedoms away by insiting on a constant gaurdian. The families of people with disabilities also need to live their lives so they can’t be expected to always be in the same room as the disabled.

      • commander

        In this case, possible restricted freedom for a custodian with a disabled family member is presumably outweighed by the depth of grief from the baby’s loss for the parents.

        And I don’t believe that all disabled people have to be constantly take care of by parents or custodians.

        When violent behavior is detected for some of the disabled, they need to be put under close watch not to inflict harm unknowingly.

        In which case, the government need to provide care services for that people, releasing their kins from the pressure of looking after them 24/7.

        • 금정산

          But you can’t isolate this case when deciding how to care / supervise autistic people in general.

          Autistic people can generally be considered “violent” because they will pinch other people etc., not being able to understand that it hurts the other person – they lack empathy. But this doesn’t mean that all autistic people will harm another to the degree in this story.

          That being said, if the autistic man had a history of dropping newly found objects from a balcany, the parents of the baby should have been told this by the autistic man’s gaurdian.

          • commander

            The degree of violence impelled by psychiatric inability to empathize with others vary.

            The insistence that all chidren suffering autism require a constant supervision over possible violence behavior is nonsensical.

            When the extreme level of violence whose consequences are irresversible like this is identified for some autism sufferers, their guardians should be obligated to take extra care of them so that no tragedy of this sort arises.

            I think you and I stand on the same page on this.

          • 금정산

            Sure, but maybe he didn’t previously show any signs of extreme violence. I used to drop apples from tall buildings as a kid (with caution), and that had no violent intent.

            Slightly off topic: It’s actually a lot of fun to watch something falling from a high place, picking up speed expontially and smash into the ground. I can see why someone with autism can become fascinated by it.

          • commander

            The expected difficulty in identifying potenially violence behavior should not be an excuse for the failure to prevent this incident.

            People close to those struck with autism know well that their behavior has no harm, but if they are left unattended, they could do harm to others as well as themselves, raising the need for additional care and attention to those who build their own world in their minds.

            Yup, it’s nothing wrong that some people find it an object gyrating down to th ground at an accelerated pace fascinating, except when an object is not a human being.

  • KKKorean

    Korean Law ( awake up it is Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!) Yes, Korea is a nation will not make sense for many people around the world. Why???? because fucking law is based on Confucian thoughts not on basic human rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • poop


  • poor kid

  • Yaminah Jamison

    Yes he may have autism, but he can’t get off scotch free. Even if he pleaded guilty but with a disability that would be justifying but not guilty at all dropping a child and killing him? No going to any institutions or counseling or anything? I guess I’m not convinced unless I know more details, pretty much.

  • chucky3176

    Korean law protects the accused far more than the victims. It’s really shocking that the country isn’t riddled with far more violent crimes like murders, since the accused are overprotected no matter what. I think this all came down because the country in the past was a military dictator, and now there are human rights groups and activists watching like hawks to protest any jailing or long imprisonments of violent criminals as undemocratic. So putting away some killer in prison for a long time are now considered undemocratic. If this guy was mentally ill, then why don’t they incarcerate him in the mental institution, instead of letting him off the hook, ready to harm the next person?

    • redwhitedude

      This is only one case.

      What I find stupid at this decision was that the mother clearly struggled with the individual. That should have been noted as being deliberate and conscious act.

  • vonskippy

    Tie a 50kg weight to the retarded guy and throw him into a pond. If he drowns he was guilty of murder (and or witchcraft), if he survives, he’s innocent and needs to be tested again with a larger weight. What? Is this too modern of a legal process for Korea?

  • justmega

    What is this sh!t? Was this guy a white cop? And the baby black?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    The real question is how did an adult with severe autism get his hands on a 2-year-old child? Both of them should have been under supervision.

  • Xman2014

    South Korean judges sentences a grade school soccer coach, man in his 20’s, to 3 years in prison for statutory rape of a 12 year old elementary girl in a washroom.

    The judge said, before he handed his sentence, the defendant deserves stiff punishment but took into consideration that he had no prior criminal record, he did not use violence, and he showed remorse for what he did, so therefore will reduce the sentencing.

    These fucking ajoshi judges will look for anything to reduce punishment. If the accused sneezes, these ajoshi judges will reduce the sentencing with any excuse they can think up. It’s a miracle that Korea isn’t a violent crime ridden society.

    Let’s just hope the old generation of Koreans that still have their heads firmly in Third World mentality of 1960’s to 1970’s, all die off soon, and Korea will be a better place to live.

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