Warning: Video contains graphic images Watch: The male driver’s brutal beating of female driver captured by dashboard camera A Chinese male driver in the southwestern city of Chengdu was captured on film intercepting a woman’s car and dragging her out of her seat, throwing her on the ground, before savagely kicking her several times on the head. The shocking video surfaced online this week, prompting a wave of anger against the male assailant. However, public opinion was quickly divided when another video, taken from the dashboard on the assailant’s car, showed the woman swerving “dangerously” across his lane – while his child and wife were in the car. The male driver, 33, surnamed Zhang, has been apprehended by police on suspicion of picking a quarrel and provoking troubles. Zhang may face imprisonment of up to five years. He told the police he reacted that way because the woman “abruptly changed lanes [in front of] his car”, which he said nearly caused an accident and frightened his child. The woman driver, surnamed Lu, was taken to hospital and was found to have bone fractures on her shoulder and a concussion from the assault. Initially the disturbing video, which went viral online, provoked netizens’ anger. Countless online users condemned the assailant and appealed on social media for justice. But the public opinion appeared to shift towards the male driver after footage captured by the dashboard camera on Zhang’s vehicle appeared online. The video revealed that Zhang, apparently upset by the woman’s driving, retaliated by swerving as well, which led to a road chase. The three-minute clip ends at the moment Zhang intercepts Lu’s car. The video prompted numerous internet users to be critical of Lu. A user with the alias Zeng Kai said on popular Q&A website Zhihu.com that while the male driver “definitely broke the law and deserves justice”, the woman’s “reckless driving clearly posed enormous dangers to the pubic”. Watch: Dashboard camera on male driver' vehicle captured the road race before the beating The comment was widely endorsed by many Zhihu users, garnering 19,000 likes. In a disturbing backlash elsewhere on the internet, some internet users openly supported the violence, arguing that the female driver “deserves to be attacked”. A number of comments like this posted on major news portal 163.com received a total of more than 100,000 likes. A commentary published on state-run China Youth Daily lashed out at this rhetoric. “Cheering for the beating of the female driver is not only applauding for violence, [an act of] sexual discrimination, but also reflects the violent tendency of the society,” it said. On Tuesday, a Chengdu local broadcaster aired footage of the man, currently in custody, delivering an apology to the victim on the camera. “I am very sorry, that because of my sudden impulse, I’ve brought harm to the victim and her family,” he said. He also called on young drivers not to follow his footsteps and drive safely. Lu, on the other hand, will face a penalty of three-point-deduction on the 12-point driving record for violating traffic rules, and an additional fine of 100 yuan, news site thepaper.cn reported. Accidents triggered by road rage are common in China, as the exploding growth of vehicles in the past decades led to rising tensions among drivers and pedestrians. Just this week, in the southwestern province of Yunnan, an old man was crushed to death by a Mercedes driver after an argument, allegedly over the latter jumping a queue. Last month in Macheng, Hubei province, a male passenger in a sedan got into a fight with a passerby when the car was accidentally scratched. The passerby took out a knife from his pocket and killed the passenger. In a high-profile incident in 2011, a PLA general’s teenaged son attacked a couple after his unlicenced BMW crashed into their car and they tried to stop him from fleeing the scene. That assault landed him in a juvenile correctional facility for a year.