Father who allegedly kicked child on playground says he only stopped boy’s swing with foot

Video screengrab from a CCTV recording taken from Jakarta’ Mal Kelapa Gading on April 25, 2018 showing a man “using his foot” to stop a boy on a swing.
Video screengrab from a CCTV recording taken from Jakarta’ Mal Kelapa Gading on April 25, 2018 showing a man “using his foot” to stop a boy on a swing.

The story about a man who allegedly kicked a boy for accidentally knocking over his daughter while on the swing has sparked debate about parental etiquette at public playgrounds in Indonesia (and, of course, the inevitable debate about who was truly at fault).

The father at the center of the controversy came out to defend himself today, not by denying or showing any remorse for his actions but by arguing that what he did was technically not a “kick”.

Coming from his hometown of Surabaya to Jakarta today to give his side of the story to the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), the alleged kicker, identified as Jonathan, said he was only protecting his two-year-old daughter after she was accidentally knocked over by the boy on the swing.

“Seeing what happened, I panicked and immediately went to my daughter who had fallen and was crying. Hearing her cry and seeing the boy still playing on the swing, I ran towards them and stopped the boy’s swing with my foot, to stop his swing so he wouldn’t knock other other people over including myself,” Jonathan said, as quoted by Warta Kota today.

“It’s not like what has gone viral on social media, that I deliberately assaulted and harmed the boy. If I had that intention then with a kick by an adult like me, the boy should have fallen forward from the swing.”

A CCTV recording of the incident has gone viral, showing the moment Jonathan quickly raised his leg in the direction of the boy on the swing (using what clearly looks like a kicking motion, as many commentators noted).

Jonathan said he is hoping Komnas PA will act as a mediator between himself and the parents of the boy he allegedly kicked before anyone takes legal action. Meanwhile, the police say they are collecting evidence for potential criminal charges against Jonathan even though the boy’s parents have not filed a formal complaint against him to the police.

In accordance with Indonesia’s child protection law, assaulting a minor is punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison or more if the child suffers serious injuries or dies.

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