Nine people have been arrested in China on suspicion of violently assaulting several women at a restaurant.
Surveillance footage from a barbeque restaurant in Tangshan in northern Hebei province, on Friday, showed one of the men approaching a table where a party of four women were seated and placing his hand on a woman’s back.
She rebuffed him several times before he slapped her, prompting her to fight back, causing a brawl. A group of men entered the restaurant and attacked the woman and her dining partners, including shoving them to the ground, kicking them and throwing a chair at them.
Footage from outside the restaurant showed the attackers dragging the woman who had rebuffed the man’s advances out before she was beaten, with passers-by and others looking on. Pictures of her lying on a stretcher, with a swollen and bloodied face, as well as the CCTV of the attack sparked widespread outrage online.
All nine suspects were arrested on Saturday, according to a statement by authorities. Two of the woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were receiving hospital treatment.
Their condition was reported as stable and two others were slightly injured.
A Weibo user who was one of the first to post it described it as “heartbreaking”, adding: “Does that mean that dining out is so unsafe now, do we have to bring men with us everywhere we go? (These men) are no different from thugs.”
By Sunday, the footage had received more than 68 million views and the video of the assault outside had been taken down.
Social media users have condemned the attack and criticised Tangshan police for being slow in arresting the suspects, while the incident also renewed the conversation about the treatment of women in China.