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September 19, 2009

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Man held after arrow pierces toddler's spine

POLICE in central China have detained a man for accidentally shooting an arrow into a two-year old girl, piercing her backbone and paralyzing her.

Officers in Nanyang City of Henan Province seized the suspect, only identified by his surname of Lian, two weeks after the girl, surnamed Chen, was found collapsed with a 30-centimeter arrow in her back in her community on September 4, Henan-based Dahe Daily reported yesterday.

The report said Lian was a neighbor of the victim's family. Police learned that Lian's son liked to play with crossbows and had a few of them in his house.

Lian, 53, confessed when police came to his door on Tuesday, saying he was trying to shoot a cat on the roof of his house to protect the pigeons he raised.

He said he knew he was in trouble when he heard that his neighbor's little girl was hit with an arrow.

Lian said he was afraid and decided to destroy all evidence.

He smashed all three crossbows belonging to his son and threw them into a nearby river. He then burned all the remaining arrows and hoped that he could escape justice.

It is not clear what charge Lian will face.

Chen's kindergarten classmates and teachers donated more than 3,000 yuan (US$439.38) to help Chen.

But the once-lively little girl could only respond to the greetings of her friends with a glassy stare.

Her mother said Chen had seldom talked since the tragedy. She is still incontinent and her legs are paralyzed.

The girl's doctor said she might be looking at a lifetime of paralysis due to injuries to her spinal cord.


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