Police arrested a 30-year-old laundry van driver for double parking in Kowloon during an altercation that was caught on camera on Sunday.
Video posted online shows three riot cops having a heated argument with a van driver next to his van — which is parked in the middle of two lanes — with one of the officers telling the driver to “leave immediately, or else we’ll arrest you.”
At one point one of the officers can be heard threatening to give the driver a parking ticket, to which the driver said “go on then.”
The driver then gets into the van and exchanges a few more words with the officers, prompting them to roughly drag him out of the driver’s seat and pin him to the ground before hauling him into a police van.
According to Apple Daily, the incident took place at 12pm on Sunday at Boundary Street in Sham Shui Po — close to the intersection at Cheung Sha Wan Road — and the driver worked for a laundromat and was delivering freshly-laundered towels to a salon on Boundary Street and collecting dirty ones.
The owner of the salon told the newspaper that the man in question had been delivering clean towels to his salon for a few years, and they often referred to him by his nickname, “towel brother.”
Video of the altercation has gone viral, with some commenters saying that police were too heavy-handed in how they dealt with a simple parking violation.
Others, however, said that it was the driver’s fault for “refusing to cooperate” and “for parking in the wrong place.” One said, perhaps a bit hyperbolically, “if this happened in America that driver would have been shot.”
Police confirmed to Stand News that they stopped the driver, surnamed Lee, on suspicion of illegal parking, but said that as he refused to cooperate with officers, they arrested him for “obstructing the police in the execution of their lawful duties.”
They said that as of 11pm last night he was still being detained for investigation, and the case is being followed up on by the Sham Shui Po police district’s criminal investigation team.
Read more Hong Kong coverage at Coconuts HK.