Shocking footage from Yuen Long today shows a minivan ramming through a makeshift roadblock erected by protesters, bowling over at least one person before speeding away.
The incident took place as much of Hong Kong was brought to a veritable standstill as protesters disrupted train service and blocked roads as part of a city-wide strike meant to pressure the government into responding to protesters’ longstanding demands.
The circumstances leading up the ramming remain unclear, but accounts circulating on social media suggest there had been an altercation between the driver and protesters manning the barricade beforehand.
In videos from the scene, the car’s windshield is smashed, and the word “murderer” is graffitied on the vehicle.
One account purporting to come from someone at the scene said protesters had “subdued” the driver following an altercation, but the man jumped back into his vehicle and rammed the barricade, adding that a few people were injured and sent to hospital. In one photo, a man identified as the driver can be seen with what appears to be a zip tie around his ankles.
Someone on site posted on LIHKG and mentioned that initially after the first fights broke, driver was given first aid for his wounds, then got back into his car, called the cops, but decided all of a sudden to ram into the crowd. 😶#HongKongProtests #FreedomHK #antiEALB pic.twitter.com/K0UEvlbJ0k
— Hong Kong – Be Water (@BeWaterHKG) August 5, 2019
Some videos of the incident show the car trying to slowly push through the barricade as protesters rain blows on the windshield. However, the group of people manning the roadblock manage to stop the vehicle from pushing through.
The van then reverses a few meters and accelerates into the barrier, easily knocking it aside and appearing to knock down at least one protester in the process.
Police today confirmed to Coconuts HK the incident took place, and that officers had visited the scene but found no injured parties there. They also said they had effectively closed the case, as both the driver and the person who called 999 were no longer there.
Protesters, however, were already circulating what they said was the personal information of the driver on social media, including his name and address.
Yuen Long has been something of a flashpoint ever since a mob of pro-Beijing thugs — some with links to organized crime — attacked scores of protesters and terrified commuters inside an MTR station there on July 21.
It took the police more than half an hour to respond to the violence, and no arrests were made that night, prompting many to accuse police of negligence, and even colluding with criminal elements.