A McDonald’s worker in Hong Kong was punched and kicked across the face by a customer who wasn’t happy about being told to put a mask on, local media reported Wednesday.
The incident happened at a McDonald’s outlet in Tuen Mun at around 3am Tuesday.
In a video that circulated on social media, a man in a black t-shirt is seen swearing at a McDonald’s worker. Suddenly, he pushes the cash register to the floor and stalks behind the counter, punching the worker several times before knocking him to the floor. He continues assaulting him and kicks him across the face.
According to Apple Daily, neither the man nor the woman he was with were wearing masks as they walked into the restaurant. The McDonald’s worker asked them to put one on and when they ignored him, refused to take their order. It was at this moment that the man got physical.
In a video filmed after the incident, another restaurant worker is seen standing between the man and the employee who was attacked. As he tries to mediate the situation, the man continues trying to punch the employee.
Apple Daily reported that the man then fled in a van. The employee was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital to be treated for his injuries.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault.
A similar incident occurred at Don Don Donki, a Japanese discount store in Tsuen Wan, at around 11pm the same day. Ming Pao reported that a man slapped a female security guard after she told him to put on a mask.
The security guard was brought to the hospital and the man, a 55-year-old surnamed Liu, was arrested.
While attacks related to citizens refusing to wear masks have been reported overseas, the assaults on Tuesday are the first known incidents in Hong Kong. Since the outbreak began in January, Hongkongers have taken to ubiquitous mask-wearing as a civic duty both to protect themselves and others around them. It is not common to see somebody on the streets without one—especially now that a third virus wave has arrived in the city.
Earlier this week, authorities made it compulsory for commuters to wear masks while taking public transportation. The regulation is part of a series of new public health measures introduced amid the worsening outbreak.