A Stranger Hit Her Child But This Mother Didn't Lodge A Police Report. Here's Why
The incident happened on 27 March onboard a flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur.
Liv E. Heng's peaceful flight back to Kuala Lumpur turned into a nightmarish situation when the lady sitting next to her hit her daughter.
Heng was on a red-eye flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur with her young daughter, Olivia on 27 March when the incident happened.
"Olivia and I were sitting in our assigned seats, and the seat next to us was empty. After take off, a girl moved over to sit next to us," read Heng's Facebook post.
Heng's daughter was fast asleep and this was the conversation that ensued between her and the lady sitting beside her based on the Facebook post:
"Lady Next To Us (LNTU): Hey, your bag touched my hand."
"LNTU: It touched my hand, I want you to apologise to me right now."
"Heng: What? Did it hurt?"
"LNTU: No, but it touched my hand, and I want you to apologise to me."
"Heng: Excuse me? You know I didn't hit you on purpose right?"
To Heng's shock, the conversation turned ugly when the lady suddenly hit Olivia. The child woke up confused and asked, "Mummy, what happened?"
Heng was furious.
"Heng: How dare you hit my child?!"
"LNTU: Well, you hit me first so I'll hit your child."
"Heng: I will report this to the police once we land, this is not ok."
"LNTU: You can report whatever you want, it is none of my business."
According to Heng's post, the duo continued to argue over the matter until Heng finally explained what had happened and asked one of the flight attendants to move the lady to a different seat, away from her.
The lady apparently told the crew that Heng's bag had "touched" her and she had refused to apologise about it.
What's odd is that the lady apparently kept changing her statements about the incident
Her initial statement was that Heng's bag had "touched" her.
To everyone's confusion, it then changed to, "She hit my hand so hard with the leather strap of her bag" and then to "The leather strap of her bag hit my face when she moved it from her seat".
Heng was asked to stay back at the airport after they arrived so that a police report could be made over the incident.
"Upon her arrival, she demanded for a doctor to examine the DAMAGES that I have done to her. She then showed everyone a bleeding cut on her hand. By then I was just speechless. I didn't know what to say. For someone to self harm and blame it on me?" read the post.
The situation took a turn when the authorities informed Heng that should she proceed with the police report, the lady would be put in the lock-up for giving contradicting statements, hitting a child and disrespecting them
Finally, the lady apologised. "Okay, fine. I'm sorry," she said, according to Heng.
Heng handled the situation by explaining to the lady that she doesn't want her to end up in the lock up.
"... but if she continues to behave as such I will have no choice but for her to learn her lesson the hard way. There is NO WAY anyone can behave this way and expect to get away with it EASILY and DISRESPECTFULLY," said Heng.
She had also felt that the lady may have some "mental issues" and that sending her into the lock-up wouldn't help the situation in any way.
So, instead of making an official police report, Heng told the lady that she would like to speak to her parents. She found out that the lady is 22 years old.
Heng waited for about two hours for the 22-year-old's parents to arrive, during which the lady had allegedly continued to be "rude" to Heng and the authorities.
With her patience running thin, Heng told the girl that she will go ahead with the report.
"She then all of a sudden seem to came to her senses and sincerely apologised," explained Heng.
The lady also admitted to making wrongful statements and scratching herself and blaming Heng for it.
The apology led to Heng coaxing the lady into swearing that she would never hit anyone ever again, no matter their age
"I taught her ways to calm down when she gets in that state (I assumed she was bipolar) instead of attacking people physically, to calm down and talk about it and more," said Heng.
The lady's dad arrived not too long after that and had apologised profusely to Heng. He also confirmed her suspicion that the lady had bipolar disorder and that she has been refusing to take her medications.
"Parent to parent my heart broke for him but he NEEDED to know what's happening to his child. We parted our ways in good terms," read the post.
The moral of the story: Heng believes that we need to come together as a society to address mental health issues.
She could have easily made the police report and left, but instead she chose to stay back and help the lady understand the consequences of her actions.
"... And sending a young 22-year-old girl who is in that state of mind, completely ruining her life (having China revoke her student visa because of her criminal record should I make the report) was NOT the right way to treat a person with obvious mental problems," added Heng.
She made it a point to mention that she did not name the lady involved in the incident or put up photos of her on social media because it's wrong to do so.
Heng also spoke about the importance of not walking away and ignoring things like this. Despite the fact that her child did not sustain any injuries from the incident, Heng stressed that situations like these must be taken seriously and handled right.
"We have to fix people who need fixing because what happened today is not the kind of world I want to leave for my future generations," ended Heng's post.
Heng also took the opportunity to praise and thank the AirAsia cabin crew and the police officers at KLIA2 for assisting and standing by her after the incident
Her Facebook post has almost 3000 likes and more than 1200 shares to date.