A Putonghua-speaking man reportedly slashed several people with a knife before biting a district councillor’s ear off outside the Cityplaza mall in Tai Koo, prompting an angry crowd to beat him in retaliation. Two men were in a critical condition, two people were seriously hurt, while one was reportedly in a stable condition as of Sunday night.
An RTHK journalist arrived on the scene to see a man slumped to the ground, bleeding profusely from what appeared to be a long knife wound to his back and shoulders.
Two other women were also sitting nearby, appearing to be dazed and in shock.
A grey-shirted man speaking mandarin was being confronted by an angry crowd.
Among them was Democratic Party member and district councillor Andrew Chiu – who represents Tai Koo West.
The councillor grabbed the man in an apparent attempt to stop him from leaving the scene, when the man suddenly grabbed Chiu by the head and bit down on his ear.
Chiu’s glasses flew off and people gathered around them starting hitting the man to try to force him to let go, without success. By the time the man was pulled away, part of Chiu's ear ended up on the ground as he pressed his hand against his bleeding wound, yelling "Where has my ear gone?"
Other people, incensed by the attack, grabbed the grey-shirted man and pushed him to the ground, where they punched and kicked him.
After the man was subdued, the beating did not stop.
When he eventually got back to his feet, with blood streaming from his head, he tried to push past the crowd, resulting in yet another beating.
Riot police finally showed up after he was beaten for several minutes, pushing the media back and giving paramedics access to those injured.
One woman, surnamed Leung, told reporters afterwards that her brother-in-law had gotten into an argument with a mandarin-speaking man over ‘political differences’, after having dinner inside the mall.
She said the man then attacked her brother-in-law, her sister, and herself.
"He hit my sister and I tried to stop him. He pulled my hair and punched me. I think he’s a mainlander because he spoke in mandarin. He said Hong Kong belongs to China,” she said.
Democratic Party legislator James To, who visited Chiu in hospital, said medics were trying to re-attach his ear, but it's not yet clear whether this will succeed. He also said Chiu has appealed to Tai Koo residents not to protest on his behalf, citing concerns that they may face violence from the police.
Sunday's attack came after police had stormed into the mall early in the evening to confront people who had sprayed graffiti at the entrances of two restaurants. Hundreds of people had also been peacefully forming a human chain inside, in protest of police brutality.
Last updated: 2019-11-03 HKT 23:03
Five hurt in knife attack, brawl, at Tai Koo mall
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