Language barrier blamedfor student face slashing

Local | Staff reporter 14 Nov 2019

A teenager accused of slashing a fellow student's face with a pen at Rosary Hill School in Happy Valley is claiming through a representative that trouble between them was caused by his schoolmate thinking wrongly that he was being insulted with foul language.

The story unfolded in an Eastern Magistrates' Court yesterday after Delfino Aramiz Julyan Zita, 17, pleaded not guilty to wounding.

Secondary three student Choi Chak-sum, with two scars visible on his left cheek as a result of the alleged assault by Delfino, who is a year younger, testified that he ran into a classmate after classes ended on April 9.

Delfino was with that classmate and swore at him, Choi claimed, and he responded with similar language before leaving.

Then the students ran into each other again at a bus stop, deputy magistrate Wong Wing-man heard.

Choi said he asked Delfino "why did you scold me?" But Delfino, who was not proficient in Cantonese, replied "I was not talking to you," with a friend helping him with the words.

Choi did not accept that explanation and he accused Delfino of starting a swearing match.

Delfino then took off his backpack and pushed him, starting a fight. Others tried to stop them, and Choi said he saw his glasses falling to the ground. But the fight ended when a bus arrived.

Two days later the two ran into each other again at the school's food kiosk and decided to settle things in a changing room.

Choi said he wanted Delfino to apologize, but Delfino responded with an arrogant smile.

Then, after they left the changing room they scuffled, and Choi said Delfino swung his right hand in front of his face twice.

Choi said that a cold object slashed his left cheek, but did not feel any pain.

He only realized he was bleeding when classmates told him so.

A defense representative said Delfino did not swear at Choi intentionally, claiming he was practicing Cantonese phrases he had just learned.

Choi also planned to bully Delfino in the changing room, the defense said, but Choi denied that in court.

The hearing continues today.

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