A Hubei man was beaten up by more than 10 chengguan and hospitalised after he insulted them by calling them “thugs,” Beijing media reported on Wednesday.
The brawl reportedly occurred in Jingzhou city last Sunday, according to Beijing Youth Daily. The badly injured man, identified as Shui Xianli, was ordering noodles at a vendor stand when a group of chengguan, or municipal administrators, came along. They said the hawker was running his business without a licence and that they were going to confiscate his stove.
Shui, who found fault with the administrators’ enforcement, stepped up and tried to stop the officers, the report cited his wife as saying.
But he ended up having a heated exchange with them and at one point blurted out: “Why are you guys acting like thugs?” The offensive remark instantly infuriated the officers who then started assaulting him, his wife told the newspaper.
Video footages taken from a surveillance camera at the scene that has been circulating online showed at least 10 men in uniforms surrounding and throwing punches toward a man. Several onlookers attempting to mediate the conflict were pushed away by the men in uniforms.
The fight was eventually brought to a stop by the crowds and Shui was later taken to a local hospital. His wife in an interview with the Daily said he had sustained two severe injures to his head and a bone fracture on his left hand, as well as multiple abrasions all over his body.
Jingzhou authority said Shui was in fact the hawker’s brother-in-law in a statement issued on Wednesday, according to people.com.cn. It said the head of the enforcers involved in the incident had been suspended and added that the local police bureau had set up a special team to investigate the matter.