Man detained for making up story about dispute on a bus

Foreign novel said to have inspired suspect to embroider fabricated story about a dispute on a bus in which an 8-year-old boy was beaten up.

A man has been detained by police after allegedly making up a story about an 8-year-old boy being beaten up by a middle-aged man on a bus over a seat dispute. The story was widely spread online and raised public concern, officers said.

The man is said to have confessed to making up the story to draw attention in a 400-member WeChat group and had never imaged it would cause such a negative social impact.

Police said screenshots of WeChat group chats were posted on website on Tuesday night. They were soon spread widely. One person in the group claimed a 50-year-old man had a dispute with a boy over a seat on a No. 104 bus and seriously injured the boy. At the police office, the man was stabbed in his eyes by the boy's angry mother, the person said.

Police immediately launched an investigation, checking police call records and visiting No. 104 bus stops as well as the hospital mentioned in the story but found nothing about the incident.

Further investigation indicated that a 33-year-old suspect surnamed Jiang had fabricated the story and he was soon tracked down.

Jiang told local media he likes writing stories from sources he collected and feels good telling others things they don't know. He said he once heard something about a child's refusal to give up his seat causing a dispute and used this detail in his story. To attract more attention, he added some "dressing" such as the man breaking seven of the boy's ribs and the mother stabbing the culprit in the eyes, details he said he got from a foreign novel.

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