A Chinese man has been arrested and charged in Serbia for assaulting his own daughter at a tennis court in Belgrade, according to reports.
A video of the incident shows the man punching, kicking and dragging the 14-year-old child by the hair multiple times.
Croatian actor Igor Jurić, who shared the video, called the unidentified father a “monster.”
“Another brutal violence by a father against his daughter. I received information that it was a family coming from China. We will file criminal charges against this monster as well,” Jurić tweeted.
Još jedno brutalno nasilje oca nad ćerkom. Dobio sam informaciju da je u pitanju porodica koja dolazi iz Kine. Podnećemo krivičnu prijavu i protiv ovog monstruma. pic.twitter.com/CrU7g0JcwU
— Igor Jurić (@lojzija) October 28, 2022
The father, identified only as “WL,” was reportedly arrested on the tennis courts of SC Banjica and charged with domestic violence offenses. It is understood that his daughter was training in tennis.
The suspect faces a prison sentence of two to 10 years. While he did not deny his actions, he attempted to justify them in terms of culture, saying they are acceptable and normal in China.
“Among other things, in his defense, he justified his actions by saying that his daughter refused to continue training on the critical day and that is why he wanted to return her to the field,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Serbian news outlet Mondo as reporting. “All this while pointing out that it was not his intention to hurt her and that it is a tradition in China to respect hierarchy and that he believes that he did the right thing because it is allowed in China.”
The incident sparked outrage online, with former world No. 1 women’s doubles champion Pam Shriver calling on Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic to intervene.
“Let’s ask for @DjokerNole to help behind the scenes. We all need to work together to stop abuse. Igor thanks for doing your part,” Shriver tweeted.
Meanwhile, former world No. 1 women’s tennis player Victoria Azarenka questioned how bystanders were able to film such a harrowing situation without intervening.
“I don’t know who this person is, but wtf is this?!? People filming for this long without intervening, absolute disgrace. And it happens so much, there has to be accountability. Please report who this person is if somebody knows,” Azarenka wrote in an Instagram Story.
The video has also incensed Australian tennis players Rennae Stubbs and Daria Saville. Stubbs likewise noted that such incidents happen “all the time,” while Saville worried that the girl “is going to be broken forever.”
The case was reportedly heard at the First Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade. The Chinese national is understood to remain in custody.