But the coach did not stop, the boy’s father, referred to as Mr. Huang, told the Taipei Times. Instead, he allegedly ordered the boy to stand up and told his classmate to continue throwing him, the BBC reported.
Then, the boy’s father told the local paper, the coach allegedly threw the boy to the mat at least 10 more times before he lost consciousness. Altogether, the boy, who was identified by only his last name of Huang, was slammed at least 27 times, his family said.
He never regained consciousness. For nearly 70 days, the boy, who suffered a brain hemorrhage and fell into a coma after the incident, clung to life while connected to a ventilator. His hospital bed was decorated with a Super Mario sticker — his favorite video game character.
On Tuesday night, as his blood pressure and heartbeat dropped, the boy’s family agreed to take him off life support. He died soon after, with his parents by his side, the hospital confirmed to the Taiwan Central News Agency.
The disturbing video enraged members of the Taiwanese public and swiftly made international headlines, prompting a local investigation into the boy’s injuries.
Last month, the coach, who has been identified by only his last name of Ho, was charged with physical assault resulting in serious injury and using a minor to commit a crime, the Taichung district prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Authorities said Ho, 68, who began to teach free lessons in 2015 in Fongyuan, a city in the center of Taiwan, was not a licensed judo instructor. It is unclear whether Ho has retained an attorney.
When the boy refused to continue practicing and called the instructor a “big fool,” Ho then began throwing him to the ground, prosecutors allege. The boy told the coach his head hurt, but Ho allegedly continued throwing him to the ground more than 10 times, prosecutors said.
At one point, the boy began vomiting and Ho temporarily stopped, only to resume once the area was cleaned, prosecutors said. The boy’s head hit the floor several times, authorities added.
The boy was rushed to the hospital after he became unresponsive and underwent surgery to treat bleeding in his skull. But doctors told the family that in the unlikely chance the boy awoke from the coma, he would probably remain in a vegetative state, the Taipei Times reported.
The boy’s mother later told reporters that his uncle felt “terrible for what happened,” according to the BBC.
When questioned by investigators, Ho, the coach, said the throws were part of normal judo training.
He was detained April 24 and released last month after posting nearly $4,000 in bond, CNA reported. The investigation is ongoing.
After the boy died, Taichung city mayor Lu Shiow-yen, who visited him in the hospital, took to her Facebook page to pay tribute to the boy.
“Wish you can rest in peace in another world and the justice system can finally bring comfort to your family,” Lu wrote.
If found guilty of both charges, Ho faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Authorities are expected to file charges of injury causing death, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, the Taiwan Times reported.