Four women, eating peaceably at a barbecue restaurant in China’s northern Hebei province, were attacked by a group of men after one of the women spurned an advance.
Nine men have been arrested in the attack, though it took widespread outrage thanks to surveillance footage that was posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo, The Associated Press reported.
The footage shows the women chatting and noshing at a table laden with food, when one of the men approaches the table and places his hand on one of their backs.
She turns him down several times, but he apparently deemed it not the correct answer, since he started slapping her in a frenzy. She defended herself, and that fight sparked a brawl. More guys piled into the restaurant and attacked all four women, shoving them, kicking them and throwing a chair.
Then these charmers dragged the woman who had initially stood up for herself outside and continued beating her. Few intervened, and one who did, a woman, was flung onto the restaurant steps and hit her head, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The person who had released the videos refused to tell The Associated Press how they got the footage. On Sunday, the portion of the assault from inside the restaurant had been viewed more than 68 million times, and the assault on the street had been deleted.
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The direct views did not include re-postings, The Wall Street Journal pointed out, noting also that one of the hashtags related to the incident was viewed nearly 2.8 billion times as people checked for updates and posted more than 2 million comments.
The incident happened in the wee hours of Friday morning, and the suspected perpetrators were arrested on Saturday.
The women were eating at a stretch of all night eateries known as “Barbecue Street,” a favorite hangout among young people, The Wall Street Journal said. People are only just beginning to emerge from lockdown.
Tangshan police said Friday that two of the women had been hospitalized in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, and two others had sustained minor injuries.
The incident sparked widespread discussions and public anger throughout China over the questionable lack of safety, as well as systemic violence against women in China, CNN reported.
The criminal investigation has been transferred to Langfang, another Hebei city, Langfang police said late Saturday, according to CNN – a move reserved for sensitive or important cases, or those involving gangs.
With News Wire Services