stabbed a BMW driver to death in a viral road rage incident last week in the Jiangsu city of Kunshan has been ruled to have acted in justifiable self-defense, a decision that has been the cause of celebration across the Chinese internet.man who
The incident occurred at an intersection on Monday night at around 9:37 pm. Surveillance camera footage shows a BMW attempting to swerve into a bike-only lane ahead of a red light, bumping up against one cyclist who refuses to give way. Quickly, two passengers, one man and one woman, exit the car and approach the cyclist. The woman helps the cyclist, a 41-year-old man named Yu Haiming, move his electric bike to the sidewalk. After talking for a time, the two head back to the BMW.
However, it’s then that the driver, a 36-year-old man named Liu Hailong, storms out of the vehicle and heads straight for Yu. Though the male passenger tries to hold him back, Liu continues to try to attack Yu. Eventually, Liu returns to his car and reemerges with a machete.
This time, the passenger does not try to get in the way as Liu rushes at Yu and takes a number of swipes. Yu holds his ground long enough for the machete to get knocked out of Liu’s hand, falling on the road. The two men both scramble to pick up the weapon, however, it is Yu that gets to it first.
With the machete in hand, Yu is able to throw Liu to the ground and stab once at his stomach. Liu then gets up and tries to run back to his car. Yu chases him, slashing at his opponent at least another four times.
Afterward, Liu collapsed from his injuries in a nearby field while Yu reached into Liu’s car and took out his cell phone, worried that Liu might try to call for backup. When police arrived at the scene, Yu handed over the machete and phone. Both men were rushed to the hospital. Yu suffered injuries in the confrontation, but none of them life-threatening. Doctors were unable to save Liu’s life.
The incident quickly became the biggest story on Chinese social media last week with millions of net users discussing and debating over whether Liu’s death was a case of reasonable self-defense or needless murder with the vast majority standing firmly on Yu’s side.
Yu’s case was further helped in the eyes of the public by subsequent revelations about Liu who was found to have a lengthy criminal record including four prison sentences for crimes like theft, assault, extortion, and destruction of property. In addition, he was discovered to have been drinking that night with a blood-alcohol level of 0.087.
On Saturday, local police released a lengthy announcement regarding the incident, ruling that Yu had acted in legitimate self-defense and would not face legal prosecution for his actions, explaining that Yu had attacked to prevent Liu from doing him further harm in a life-threating situation.
According to the police report, Yu stabbed Liu a total of five times, resulting in injuries to his abdomen, chest, shoulder, elbow, and hip. However, it is likely that the first stab alone was fatal, rupturing the abdominal artery and causing major blood loss.
The decision has been met with calls for celebration across Weibo with web users deeming the ruling a “historic victory” for self-defense protections in China. “Justice has prevailed!” wrote one netizen.