A local resident was wounded when he came to the aid of an Epoch Times staffer who was attacked with a knife on the evening of June 12 while covering events related to a key protest movement anniversary in Hong Kong.
Jerry, a part-time videographer with the publication’s Hong Kong edition, was live-streaming in the area of Kwun Tong around 9 p.m. local time, where a street stand was set up with photos and signage related to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Police were nearby patrolling the area.
A group of about a dozen citizens got into a heated argument, with some people pushing and shoving each other, Jerry said. He has chosen to withhold his surname for safety reasons.
One man, dressed in a white button-down shirt, fell to the ground during the clash. When he got up, he suddenly flashed a green knife and began pointing it at people’s faces.
Jerry began photographing the scene. When the man spotted Jerry, he raised the knife toward him. Jerry said the man also tried to grab his photo stand and other equipment.
As they engaged in a tug-of-war, a bystander grabbed the knife with his bare hands in an effort to stop the attack, wounding his hand in the process. Media footage from the scene showed blood splattered and red-stained tissues strewn on the ground.
The police later identified the assailant as a 27-year-old man, and the good Samaritan a 22-year-old male.
Nearby police quickly subdued the attacker on the ground and arrested him on a charge of “wounding,” according to a police statement. The injured man was briefly tended to by first-aiders at the scene before being transferred to the hospital.
June 12 marked the one-year anniversary of an intense confrontation between police and protesters in front of the government headquarters in Admiralty as the city legislature was set to debate a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed individuals to be transferred to mainland China for trial. The bill has since been scrapped.
That day, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters, drawing public outrage and fueling an ongoing protest movement against Beijing. Locals have since staged mass demonstrations calling for greater democratic freedoms in the territory.
Jerry, who came away mostly unscathed except for a few scrapes on his right hand while protecting his camera, was both grateful and anxious for the bystander who took the blow for him.
“He used his hand to stop the knife,” he said in a phone interview. “I was quite nervous. I didn’t know how bad he was hurt. I asked him: Why did you do such a silly thing—to use your hand to block it?”
The bystander, upon learning that Jerry worked for The Epoch Times, said, “I don’t regret helping you,” Jerry said. “After he said that, I felt regretful in my heart,” Jerry said. He had dropped his phone during the melee, with his photographer pass torn off and camera bag damaged, he said.
The assailant was detained by the police. Jerry had gone to the police station to provide a statement.
The Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times condemned the violence in a statement, and called on local authorities to investigate the incident and the attacker’s background.
The bureau has experienced multiple attacks in recent years. Last November, four masked intruders set fire to The Epoch Times’ printing press, damaging machines and printing paper in the factory.
Recently, the factory also noticed a suspicious person loitering and filming around the premises, the bureau said in the statement. Staff members and security guards have taken down the person’s license plate number.
The bureau expressed respect for Hong Kong citizens who assisted Jerry at the scene and vowed to continue bringing timely and in-depth reporting to the Hong Kong public.
“Upholding the truth, we will never give up,” the statement read.