Cyclist Who 'Knee Punched' 5-Year-Old Girl to Ground Fined $1
Earlier reports claimed the suspect was facing up to a year in jail.
A cyclist in Belgium was ordered to pay €1 ($1) in damages after he appeared to knock down a five-year-old girl with his knee while riding on a bike path.
The viral video, taken by the girl’s father, showed the cyclist approaching the family during a stroll on Christmas Day and bumping the child, causing her to topple over.
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According to the court, the suspect was guilty of deliberately kneeing the girl, but had suffered enough already through social media criticism, which prompted the judge to issue the lenient sentencing.
Patrick Mpasa, who filmed the shocking clip, claimed he caught up with the cyclist as soon as the incident occurred, but the cyclist showed no remorse, according to News18. Mpasa then posted the video in hopes of identifying the cyclist and the internet soon obliged.
At the court hearing on February 3, the cyclist said, per the DailyMail, “When I was riding close to the girl, I felt my rear wheel slide off. To avoid a fall, I brought myself back into balance with a movement of the knee. I felt that I hit the girl, but did not immediately realize that she had fallen.”
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However, the prosecutor argued, “He was annoyed by the people on the path who had to swerve around all the time. He gave the child a ”knee punch” out of sheer annoyance because an obstacle was in his way for the umpteenth time.”
On Friday, the judge issued the light sentence, claiming the unnamed cyclist had no intention of harming the girl and had suffered enough via social media. The court also took into consideration the cyclist’s time spent in custody at the time of arrest.
Earlier reports claimed the suspect was facing up to a year in jail. Instead, he will have to pay the girl’s family a “symbolic” €1 in compensation, per the outlet.
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