Police are on the hunt for a man who was caught on camera bashing another man on the head with what they later said was a metal drain cover in Mong Kok the early hours of Sunday morning.
Video circulating online shows the man clearing a makeshift barricade from the intersection of Nathan Road and Mong Kok Road while a handful of protesters nearby can be heard saying “what are you doing?”, and “you motherfucker.”
The man then takes a break from clearing the barricade to pull out his phone in an apparent attempt to start filming or taking photos when another man in a grey shirt and black cap suddenly rushes into the frame and strikes the first man on the head with a large rectangular piece of metal, producing a loud metallic clang. (The video below contains graphic content.)
— Jon Chan (@sumtingwong2019) November 30, 2019
The victim, who appears to be knocked out, immediately slumps onto the barricade, a thin stream of blood trickling from his head. As he limply slides to the ground, he appears to regain consciousness, and a volunteer first-aider arrives and attempts to staunch the flow of blood.
The man is later seen telling police officers at the scene that he had also lost his phone in the incident.
Ming Pao reports that the man was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital with a serious head injury, and was discharged later that day.
Police issued a statement via Facebook saying they’d classified the case as assault and theft, and that it would be handled by the Narcotics Bureau. Police also condemned “the violent act of the rioter,” and urged anyone with more information to come forward, but no arrests have yet been made.
According to Ming Pao, dozens of protesters had gathered in the area on Saturday, Nov. 30, to mark the four-month anniversary of the Aug. 31 protests, which saw officers charging through Prince Edward MTR station to make arrests, beating and pepper-spraying commuters inside an MTR carriage.
The incident, often referred to as 831, is remembered as one of the worst nights of police violence against protesters since the protest movement began in June, and some in the protester camp have stubbornly clung to the belief that officers beat some protesters to death inside the MTR station during the operation. Authorities have repeatedly denied the allegations, and no concrete evidence that any such killings took place has emerged, though that has done little to quell protesters’ concerns.