‘Victim’ admits to fall after accused kills self

By Fang Yang Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-13 0:58:01

A hospitalized elderly man who had claimed he was hit by a motorcycle driver has admitted that he actually fell on his own after the accused driver committed suicide over a week ago, the New Express reported Sunday.

"I fell down myself, and the passerby took me to the hospital," Zhou Huoqian, a 79-year-old man in Dongyuan county, Guangdong Province, said on Thursday, changing his previous statements about being knocked over by the deceased man Wu Weiqing, 46, a factory worker.

When asked why he had accused Wu, Zhou said he didn't have any money, and he wanted Wu to pay for his treatment.

Zhou made his latest confession to Chen Guanyu, a renowned public-spirited figure in Shenzhen. The 74-year-old woman traveled to the county to visit Wu's family and Zhou, saying that she wanted to know the truth and help Wu's family, which is in a poor state.

On December 31, Zhou fell down on a rural concrete road as Wu passed by on a motorbike. Zhou had insisted that Wu's motorbike hit him, but Wu denied it. Despite the argument, Wu carried Zhou on his back to the village's clinic.

Wu since then had faced accusations and demands for compensation of 200,000 yuan ($32,700) from Zhou and his family. He was found drowned in a pond on January 2, after calling his daughter, Wu Haiyan, who told the Global Times he was afraid of potentially having to pay out so much money.

Wu Haiyan said Sunday that she accompanied Chen to the hospital and Chen recorded the conversation, which was later submitted to the police.

"Zhou said this without his family around," Wu Haiyan said, adding that Zhou changed his story again when asked by other media after their visit.

According to Wu Weibiao, Wu's elder brother, the latest investigation showed his brother's motorcycle made no contact with Zhou, and his family wanted the final investigation report made public quickly.

"I want my brother's name to be cleared, and I hope the government can give him the title of 'Good Samaritan,'" he told the Global Times.

Zhou Chuanrong, a lawyer with Dacheng Law Offices in Wuhan, Hubei Province, told the Global Times that Zhou and his family should be held accountable if the investigation shows that they made a false accusation against Wu which led to his suicide.

Similar cases in recent years have prompted the public to rethink the traditional virtue of helping elders.

An elderly woman fell down in Dazhou, Sichuan Province in June, 2013, but later blamed three children who helped her for causing the accident and demanded compensation.

After an investigation, police concluded that the woman had fallen on her own and the act constituted extortion. The woman's son was given a 10-day administrative detention and a fine of 500 yuan.

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