Hong Kong protests: three people arrested for hitting man over the head with drain cover while he was clearing roadblocks

Lilian Cheng

Three people have been arrested for allegedly hitting a man over the head with a drain cover while he was clearing roadblocks set up by protesters in Hong Kong early December.

Police made the arrests on Tuesday after inspecting surveillance footage of the incident. One of the trio is suspected to be the person who was holding the drain cover, while the other two were accompanying him.

The man suspected of holding the drain cover was charged with attempted assault and attempted unlawful assembly, while the other two were charged with assisting the assault and attempted unlawful assembly, police said at a press conference on Tuesday night.

The three men, aged between 33 and 34, claimed to be self-employed as interior designers. They were arrested separately in Ap Lei Chau, Tsuen Wan and Central.

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“We believe two of the suspects know each other as they were seen heading to the scene of the assault together,” police said.

A manhunt was on for a month since the 53-year-old victim suffered serious head injuries in the attack on December 1 at the junction of Nathan Road and Mong Kok Road in Mong Kok. He was sent to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment and was discharged later.

A video that captured the incident online showed the victim was removing barricades on his own when several masked protesters approached him, yelling abuse.

The victim took out his mobile phone in an apparent attempt to record what was happening, when a mask-wearing man lunged at him and hit him with the drain cover.

The victim fell to the ground and was seen bleeding from his head. A first-aid volunteer rushed to his rescue.

On that night, large groups of protesters gathered in Mong Kok and Prince Edward in Kowloon to mark three months of a mob dispersal operation by riot police at Prince Edward railway station.

Separately, police arrested six men and one woman, aged 19 to 56, on Tuesday in relation to offences such as unlawful assembly, arson and assault, during protests on October 6, October 20 and November 2.

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