A judo coach who slammed a seven-year-old student to the floor multiple times with such force he ended up in a coma has been charged with physical assault resulting in serious injury and using a minor to commit a crime, the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
The coach, surnamed Ho (何), was released on bail of NT$100,000 yesterday afternoon.
Ho was indicted in accordance with Article 112 of the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), as well as Article 277 of the Criminal Code, the office said in a statement.
The case stemmed from an incident during a class at a dojo in Taichung’s Fongyuan District (豐原) on April 21.
The boy’s father, surnamed Huang (黃), told a news conference two days later that Ho and an older student threw his son to the ground multiple times.
The boy begged Ho to stop, but the coach continued until his son became completely unresponsive and was rushed to hospital, the father said.
A medical examination showed that the boy suffered a severe brain injury. He underwent surgery, but remains in a coma as of press time last night.
Ho started to teach judo for free in Fongyuan in 2015, but is not a licensed judo instructor, the office’s statement said.
Ho also instructed other children to throw the boy, despite knowing that the boy did not possess the basic judo skills needed to ensure he landed safely when thrown, the office said, implying that Ho used minors to commit a crime.
Ho apparently began to deliberately hurt the boy after he refused to continue practicing and said “the coach is an idiot,” prosecutors said.
The coach went on to slam the boy more than 10 times even after he complained of a headache, thinking he was feigning an illness, the office said.
Although Ho stopped after the boy vomited, he continued throwing him after the venue was cleaned, the office said, adding that the boy’s head hit the floor several times.
During questioning, Ho insisted that the throws were part of normal training.
Ho had been detained since late April after the start of a judicial investigation, but was yesterday released on bail.
That drew a furious reaction from the boy’s mother, who said it was not fair.
“My son is still in a coma, fighting for his life in the hospital, but the coach has walked out of detention,” she said.
Additional reporting by Jason Pan
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