Red paint splashed over iPad tourists after a queueing row outside shop

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 May, 2011, 12:00am

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Two mainland tourists were splashed with red paint after a row over their place in a queue to buy the latest Apple iPad 2 outside a Sheung Shui electronics shop yesterday.

The 17-year-old youth and 20-year-old woman were at the front of the queue on the first floor of Landmark North in Lung Sum Avenue at about 6am. Police said they were among about 20 people lining up to buy the iPad 2 and the earlier version of the iPhone 4.

Two assailants wearing face masks approached and splashed the victims with red paint without saying a word, police said.

'Initial investigation indicates that the culprits targeted the 17-year-old boy and paint was spread to the woman,' a police officer said. 'We suspect the attack was provoked by a dispute over queuing between the boy and local shoppers earlier.'

A pool of paint was left on the ground and paint was also splashed on the shop's display window. The attackers fled before police arrived and a search failed to find them.

The left side of the youth's body was covered with paint from upper arm to foot. The pair were given check-ups at North District Hospital.

Police said the culprits were male and about 1.7 metres tall. One wore a red shirt and the other a grey shirt.

Police are investigating whether the attackers are triad members. The Wo Shing Wo is the most active triad gang in Sheung Shui.

The officer said the victims told police they did not know each other.

Police believe they came to Hong Kong to buy the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 and sell them on the mainland for a profit. It is understood they could make about HK$1,000 on each device on the mainland.

Another officer said queues, mainly of mainland visitors, had been forming outside the shop before dawn each day since the latest gadgets went on sale late last month. The officer said it was the first such attack in the area.