Online images of a child's mangled penis have prompted outrage against the man who inflicted the wound with an electric drill.
The images attracted more than 1,000 comments soon after they were posted on the child's mother’s Facebook page on Friday.
All expressed frustration and called for strict punishment of the perpetrator.
A police source told Thanh Nien that police in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 launched an investigation after the mother declined to settle the matter out of court with the perpetrator.
The mother, 40-year-old Le Thi Thanh Phuong, said the man who injured her five-year-old son is a maintenance man at the Saigon Square shopping center where she works.
“My son and I were waiting for my husband near the center’s entrance after work on August 25 when the technician Ngo Tran Thang called him over and jammed an electric drill into his penis.”
“He cried out loud before fainting,” Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted her as saying.
Phuong said Thang walked away and a center guard quickly took her son to the Saigon General Hospital for treatment. He was later transferred to the HCMC Children's Hospital 2.
The child’s father, Nhat, said Thang never inquired about the child’s health, so the frustrated father called the police on August 27.
Meanwhile, Thang told Tuoi Tre that he routinely plays with the child.
“I called him over to play. Normally, I was holding nothing but on that day, I was on a break and still holding a drill in my hand that was not safely locked.”
“While playing with him, my hand got stuck and the drill entered his body. When I withdrew the drill, he was not bleeding and I continued with my job,” he said.
Thang said he did come to the hospital but was unable to find the child there.
“After that, I phoned and asked how we could resolve the case easily but the family refused and decided to make a lot of noise,” he said.
Online commenters said Thang should be punished by a court of law and be forced to compensate the child.
“File a lawsuit against him! That’s so brutal and should be condemned. How could he think that he could escape easily?” Facebook user Duyen My said.