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Brutal attack brings focus on Chinese ‘parachute kids’

LA School Report | July 2, 2015



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By Cindy Chang and Frank Shyong

It started as an ordinary spat among high school girls, sparked by an unpaid restaurant bill.

At an ice cream parlor in Rowland Heights, the dispute took a dark turn.

Three girls ganged up on Yiran “Camellia” Liu, forcing her to kneel and use her hands to wipe cigarette butts and ice cream smears off the floor, according to Liu’s court testimony.

More teenagers joined the fray. Liu testified that they took her to a nearby park, where they stripped her naked, kicked her with high-heeled shoes, slapped her hundreds of times and burned her nipples with cigarettes.

They cut off her hair and made her eat it, she testified. Someone snapped cellphone photos of her.

A girl named Helen said to the others, “Just slow it down and don’t hit her so hard, and we can do it a longer stretch of time,” Liu testified at a preliminary hearing.

The March 30 attack has prompted soul-searching not just in Rowland Heights but also in China — the victim and her alleged attackers were “parachute kids,” part of a new wave of Chinese youngsters who live in Southern California and attend local schools while their parents remain back home.

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