Nine people have been arrested on suspicion of violently assaulting several women at a restaurant in China after surveillance footage of the attack went viral, police have said.
Footage circulating online shows one of the men approaching a table, where a party of four women were seated at a restaurant in Tanghshan, in northern Hebei province at 2.40am on Friday.
A man places his hand on her back but begins to slap her after she rebuffs his advances.
A brawl ensued, with a group of men entering the restaurant and brutally attacking the woman and her dining partners, including shoving them to the ground, kicking them and even throwing a chair at them.
Footage taken from outside the restaurant also showed the attackers dragging the woman who had rebuffed the man’s advances out of the establishment and beating her viciously while most passers-by and patrons looked on.
Photographs of her lying on a stretcher, with a swollen and bloodied face, as well as footage of the attack, went viral online.
All nine suspects were arrested Saturday, according to a statement by authorities issued on microblogging platform Weibo.
Two women had sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were receiving treatment in a hospital. Their condition was reported to be stable. Two others were slightly injured.
The footage of what happened both inside and outside the restaurant lasted for just under five minutes. The Weibo user who was among the first to post the videos said in a post that it was “heartbreaking” to watch.
“Does that mean that dining out is so unsafe now, do we have to bring men with us everywhere we go?” the post read. “(These men) are no different from thugs.”
When reached, the user declined to reveal the source of the videos, stating that it was “inconvenient” to do so.
By Sunday, video of footage filmed inside the restaurant had garnered over 68 million views.
Social media users have condemned the attack and criticized Tangshan police for being slow in arresting the suspects.
“I’m a woman, and I have a daughter,” said one Weibo user with the handle BaobaomaoDaren. “I wonder — as I’m creating value for society and spreading positive energy, will this society protect me and my child?”
State broadcaster CCTV said in an online commentary that the suspects must be arrested as quickly as possible and “punished severely in accordance with the law” in order to account to the victims and the public.