A young man whose girlfriend was released from court on a good-behaviour bond yesterday after repeatedly slapping him in an attack widely viewed on Youtube has been arrested for assaulting a South China Morning Post photographer.
Chioo Wing-ming, 23, is accused of pushing over and kicking photographer May Tse and damaging her camera as he left Kowloon City Court with girlfriend Cheng Yan-na, 20.
The incident happened while dozens of journalists were jostling to catch a glimpse of the couple, who became internationally known when the video of Cheng slapping a kneeling Chioo at least 14 times went viral.
Cheng was placed on a one-year bond by Deputy Magistrate Chu Chung-keung. It means she can be brought back to court if she offends again in a year.
Chioo pushed Tse over and kicked her.
The photographer, who suffered swelling to the back of her head and a bruised right elbow, right forearm and left knee, was taken to hospital for treatment.
"I have difficulty moving my neck and my back is sore," she said.
Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei said: "What happened to May Tse was totally unacceptable and we condemn the violence against her. Under no circumstances should journalists who are carrying out their legitimate reporting duties be subjected to any form of violence."
There were wild scenes after the incident as the couple leapt into a taxi that was stopped from moving by a crowd of journalists.
The pair got out and sprinted across Argyle Street and into Kowloon City police station, pursued by the press pack.
In the video which went viral earlier this month, Cheng demands: “Why did you tell her to go to your apartment?”
“Listen to me first before beating me!” pleads Chioo, before adding: “I told her not to come!”
Video: Hong Kong woman beating boyfriend on the street
A police spokeswoman said Chioo was arrested for alleged assault and criminal damage. He was last night freed on police bail.
Chioo and Cheng also complained of injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.
Hong Kong Press Photographers Association chairman Tyrone Siu said Tse was carrying out her legitimate duties and journalists should not be a target for anyone to vent their anger.
The slapping video has attracted 1.73 million views since being posted to YouTube on October 6. It shows Chioo kneeling in front of Cheng and another woman, with Cheng shouting: "Why did you ask her to go home with you? Your girlfriend is right here and you want to bring another girl home with you."
Additional reporting by Clifford Lo