Police in Dalian, a city in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, have identified the victim of a vicious assault which was captured in a surveillance video on Saturday, sparking an online manhunt for the perpetrator.
The woman, aged 29, called police after the attack and was treated in hospital for “soft tissue damage”, according to a statement by Dalian police on Tuesday.
Police said the woman was on her way home when the assault took place in the city’s Ganjingzi district at 1am on June 22. A special task force has been formed to hunt for her attacker.
The statement has triggered online criticism, with many questioning the reported extent of the woman’s injuries, as well as the efficiency of the police probe.
“Soft tissue damage? We all see how bad the attack is from the video, and the woman could not move at all when being dragged away,” one Weibo user commented.
“It’s been three days - what’s going on with your investigation?” another asked.
Cyber police in the southwestern province of Sichuan took the unusual step of appealing for help from China’s online community in identifying the location of the attack, captured in a surveillance video of unknown origin.
The footage shows the woman walking along a street looking at her phone when she is approached by a young man who abruptly hits her in the face. He continues to attack her, repeatedly punching and kicking her in the head before dragging her by the hair out of the camera frame.
The video, which lasts about 100 seconds, is time and date stamped at 12.44am on Saturday.
According to police, the video was first shared online by a group of people in Liaocheng, Shandong province, in eastern China on Monday, while a Weibo user from Meizhou, in the southern province of Guangdong, came forward to say the victim may be a relative.
According to online news portal Thepaper.cn, other social media users said they believed the man may be speaking with a Yangjiang dialect.
Police and government officials in each of these cities ruled out the attack taking place there, as no locations matched the one shown in the video.
The Ministry of Public Security and official media outlets, including People’s Daily, shared the video on social media, calling on the public’s help in solving the case.
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