Bullied Chinese boy recovering from assault

Du Chuanwang lies in the hospital with his younger brother by his side.

Story highlights

  • 13-year-old victim on alleged assault will likely survive, Chinese media reported
  • The two workers who pumped compressed air into teen have been arrested
  • Hospitalized victim has multiple infections and cannot speak

A 13-year-old Chinese boy, who was assaulted by two adults with an air pump at an auto repair shop, is recovering and will likely survive, according to Chinese media reports.

That boy, Du Chuanwang, who is from Shandong Province, suffered ruptures and multiple organ failure from the air pressure that was pumped into his body, according to Chinese media.

By Monday, Du's condition had improved to the point he was sitting up and looking around, according to a microblog post from a charity that has been accepting donations for his care.

Du had worked with an auto repair team that traveled to various shops, according to local police. On June 30, two workers at an auto repair shop pointed the nozzle of an air pump near the boy's anus for 4 to 5 seconds, according to police. The local police posted a message on Sina Weibo, China's microblogging site, saying that the two men pushed the boy to the ground during the attack, and that the incident was a "prank."

The two workers, who are 20 and 27 years old, were arrested on July 12, police said.

The incident sparked an online uproar, as Chinese netizens demanded punishment for the suspects. "They don't deserve to be called human, they are worse than the animals," wrote one user.

Du's tongue is infected, he has also lost some of his teeth and cannot speak, according to Chinese media reports. His infections have been treated with antibiotics. Images of the boy showed massive decay on his cheek and nose.

This is the same model of the air pump that was used in the assault.

Immediately after the incident, Du's stomach was so inflated that surgeons at a Shandong hospital had to cut his abdomen to deflate the gas, according to the China Daily newspaper. He also suffered internal bleeding in his digestive tract, according to news reports. Du was in a coma for eight days.

He awoke last week and was transferred to the intensive care unit at the Bayi Children's Hospital in Beijing. The hospital did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

Du was released from intensive care because of his improving condition, according to China Daily.

Meanwhile, Angel Mom, a charity group that helped arrange Du's hospital transfer raised more than 650,000 yuan ($102,000) for his care. However, some people were skeptical about giving money to a charity and sought to directly donate to the family.

Weibo users sent encouragements to Du, with posts like "Little Chuanwang, you will be well! Hang in there," and "We are here praying for you, cheer up Chuanwang."

The teen dropped out of school and was working as an apprentice, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. His mother died six years ago and the family said they earn around 5,000 yuan ($780) per year from a small plot of land.

Du's family sent him to help out at the repair shop and was repaid in clothes and other items, his grandfather said last week. He did not work at the auto shop, but helped with simple tasks.