A popular Hong Kong YouTuber and his assistant were arrested over a vigilante justice video, in which they forced a suspected child pedophile to kneel on the street and apologize.
The arrests came after the YouTuber, “Brother Rock,” captured the confrontation on a video last week. In the since-deleted clip, the YouTuber said that a 13-year-old viewer had reached out to him about an online stranger who was asking him to send pictures of his genitals.
Taking matters into his own hands, Brother Rock posed as the boy and arranged to meet the suspected child pedophile in Kowloon City on July 11.
In screenshots Brother Rock posted, the two exchanged messages about the clothes they were wearing prior to the meet-up to help with identifying each other.
He and his assistant spotted the man from afar and ran towards him, a backed up version of the video shows. Wearing a GoPro on his head, Brother Rock holds the man by the shoulders, aggressively yelling as he asks what he is doing and whether engaging in sexual acts with children is appropriate.
The YouTuber forces him to look at the camera when the man, who said he is 18 years old but was later revealed to be 22, answers.
“Kneel down!” Brother Rock commands, his speech expletive laden. “Do you want me to call the police?”
The man gets on his knees and apologizes, kowtowing and touching his forehead to the ground. Brother Rock also demands to know how many underage boys he has performed sexual acts with and how he got in touch with them. At first, the man says they are friends from his secondary school, but later back tracks and says he met them online.
The confrontation lasts for around eight minutes in the video.
In a press conference Monday, Kowloon City District inspector Wong Chiu-ting said that three people were arrested, including one on a suspected charge of child pornography possession. Brother Rock and his assistant face charges of suspected false imprisonment.
“Standing up to injustice is a good thing, but citizens should report to police when they believe that a crime has occurred,” Wong said.
Further arrests are not ruled out, she added.
According to The Standard, exposing scams and wrongdoing is a regular theme on Brother Rock’s YouTube channel. In June, he posted a video of himself confronting a restaurant owner who is said to have abused the eatery’s resident cat.