A man suspected to be from the Chinese military fell unconscious after getting beaten up by a group of Hong Kong protesters he allegedly infiltrated and pretended to be a part of.
While paramedics were stuck in a stand-off with the crowd of protesters, who largely refused to let them pass through, the man was sent to the hospital eventually after about two hours of jostling.
The incident happened on Tuesday night, Aug. 13 in the Hong Kong International Airport..
Man beaten up after suspecting he's from the PLA
Suspecting that he is from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), protesters surrounded the man and started hitting him.
However, other protesters in the crowd stepped in to shield the man from getting beaten.
According to CNN senior producer James Griffiths, protesters then tied the man's wrists using cable ties, which were allegedly tied so tightly they restricted his blood circulation, further worsening his condition.
The man also fell in and out of consciousness.
Having bound him fear now is his ties are too tight and could cut off circulation. Any attempt to change them causes more fights to break out among protesters. pic.twitter.com/ioYGzeYpK0— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) August 13, 2019
Griffiths tweeted that some of the protesters laughed at a picture of the unconscious man, which was "airdropped" to their Apple phones.
Photo of the man being airdropped around while people laugh. Paramedics have got him to the main terminal area where at least it’s cooler and calmer. Trying to get him to an ambulance. pic.twitter.com/DVWJwkVOeY— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) August 13, 2019
While paramedics attended to the man who was beaten, a small group of protesters looked on.
Paramedic checking the guy’s heart rate. There are about a dozen calmer people around him and a couple hundred angry testosterone filled protesters between them and the exit. pic.twitter.com/0eoXyWCt9i— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) August 13, 2019
The man then regained consciousness.
Crowd refused to let paramedics through
However, the medics later had difficulty getting out of the airport as the crowd of protesters initially refused to make way for the injured person to pass through.
Even after a few protesters pleaded with the rest who refused to budge, the crowd remained unmoved.
The leaderless movement took a toll in this instance, as the protesters were unable to agree on what to do with the man.
This was a movement famous for clearing thousands of people out of the way on the streets to let an ambulance through, now blocking a stretcher while a handful of more reasonable people in tears try to reason with them. pic.twitter.com/JbV412EeGJ— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) August 13, 2019
After a stand-off of at least two hours, the protesters finally allowed paramedics to get through.
Looks like they’re gonna exit him vi a human tunnel pic.twitter.com/GALZ8XhKJX— RichS (@RichScotford) August 13, 2019
The man was eventually sent to the hospital.
Man was allegedly a Shenzhen police
Shortly after, it was revealed that the man was from the Shenzhen police, according to an identification card he was carrying.
They found his ID and googled him. He is Shenzhen cop pic.twitter.com/8x67Quxpji— RichS (@RichScotford) August 13, 2019
Video gone viral in mainland China
The video of the assault has gone viral on Chinese social media too, with a post on microblogging platform Weibo racking up more than 476,000 likes and 10,000 shares.
The post's caption said that a Chinese man born in 1996 was assaulted by a group of Hong Kong protesters, and that it still remains to be seen if he survived the attack.
Grew suspicious of "spies" after Hong Kong police infiltrated protesters
The injured man was not the only one suspected of being a spy among protesters.
Some protesters have even accused reporters of being cops as suspicions of others infiltrating the group grew.
Protesters now screaming at reporters standing above check in desks taking photos and filming crowd. “Journalist mother fucker,” some shouted. Claimed at least one was a cop. pic.twitter.com/fHh1hc5pr9— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) August 13, 2019
This was especially after the Hong Kong police admitted to disguising themselves as protesters and infiltrating the group to make arrests on Sunday, Aug. 11.
A group of plainclothes officers, disguised as protesters, launched a surprise operation to arrest protesters outside SOGO department store in Causeway Bay. At least a dozen were arrested. The officers refused to answer reporters' questions on their identity.#HongKong #antiELAB pic.twitter.com/P3WzYCJdu7— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@HongKongFP) August 11, 2019
The police have also defended their actions, saying it was done to target the “radical” protesters.
Top image adapted via @jgriffiths