17 Sep 2011

General's son sentenced to detention for road rage

5:34 am on 17 September 2011

The son of a famous army general in China has been sentenced to a year in detention after a highly publicised road rage incident.

Li Tianyi, 15, is said to have assaulted a couple in the street.

State media said the teenager had confessed to the crime and was sent to a government correctional facility. He is too young to drive legally.

The BBC reports Li Tianyi is the son of one of China's best-known army generals, Li Shuangjiang, who is famous for his renditions of patriotic songs on television.

He was behind the wheel of a BMW car with no licence plates when he found a middle-aged couple in another vehicle blocking his way in Beijing.

Li Tianyi and a second teenager, who was driving an Audi, leapt from their vehicles and, it is reported, assaulted the couple while shouting at shocked bystanders: ''Don't you dare call police''.

A BBC correspondent says many in China saw it as yet another example of the children of the rich and powerful acting as if they were above the law.

Last year there was outrage over another case in which the son of a police officer who was driving while drunk, killed a university student in a hit-and-run accident.