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Protester To Kai-wa attends Sha Tin Court on Tuesday afternoon charged with assaulting officers on Sunday, including biting through a police sergeant’s ring finger. Photo: Winson Wong

Hong Kong protester appears in court accused of biting off police officer’s finger during extradition bill clashes in Sha Tin

  • The 22-year-old and one other defendant, also on officer assault charges, granted bail by magistrate on Tuesday
  • Demonstrators appear in court in connection with Sunday’s violent clashes, which led to arrest of about 50 people

A protester accused of biting off part of a policeman’s finger during Sunday’s clashes in Sha Tin was one of two demonstrators granted bail by a court on Tuesday over alleged assaults against officers.

To Kai-wa, 22, faced assault and wounding charge at Sha Tin court, two days after his arrest at New Town Plaza, a major shopping mall in the New Territories town, where demonstrators and police clashed following an extradition bill protest.

To was also accused of fracturing the finger of a second officer, who had tried to fend off an umbrella attack.

The court document said To assaulted Constable Ip Cheuk-kin outside the Longchamp shop in New Town Plaza in Sha Tin on July 14.

He also “unlawfully and maliciously” wounded Senior Superintendent Leung Tsz-kin and Detective Sergeant Leung Kai-yip outside the Coach shop in the same mall, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), according to the document.

It is not common for prosecutors to divulge detailed allegations during a first hearing. But prosecutor Crystal Chan argued the series of assaults committed by To stemmed from his initial assault on Ip.

“Without any provocation and indication, he hit the back of [Ip’s] neck with an umbrella,” said Chan, referring to the assault allegation.

She said the superintendent tried to step in and help, but received the fracture when trying to repel To’s attack.

When the detective sergeant joined the fray, To bit off the tip of his ring finger on his right hand, the prosecutor added.

Chan said police issued eight warnings after 7pm that they would clear the mall.

The prosecutor asked for an adjournment for further investigation and objected to Chan’s bail.

Magistrates granted bail to two protesters who appeared before them separately charged with attacking police officers. Photo: Winson Wong

She said police needed time to obtain and view closed-circuit television footage from the mall and take statements from injured officers. They were also expecting medical reports.

Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung adjourned the case to September 10 but granted bail despite the prosecution’s stance.

How a peaceful rally led to bloodshed and chaos in Hong Kong mall

Those convicted of wounding with intent to cause GBH, the most serious charge against To, could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was given a cash bail of HK$10,000 (US$1,278) and a surety of HK$10,000, among other conditions including banning him from New Town Plaza mall.

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Another protester, Lam Tsz-wo, 23, who faced three counts of assaulting a police officer, was also granted bail.

The prosecutor said he was originally arrested for taking part in an unlawful assembly. But after he was taken to a police station for investigation, Tam allegedly attacked three officers.

Neither Lam nor To were required to make a plea.

They were among at least 47 people – 29 men and 18 women – arrested during Sunday’s clashes between police officers and protesters.

Police in riot gear arrest an unnamed protester at New Town Plaza shopping mall, where the worst of the violence was witnessed during Sunday night’s Sha Tin clashes. Photo: Felix Wong
The day started out as a peaceful protest against the government’s extradition bill, but descended into mayhem as night fell when protesters and police officers clashed inside New Town Plaza.

To’s court appearance, which was announced shortly after noon, attracted a long queue of people outside the courtroom, wanting to observe proceedings.

Carrie Lam offers solace to injured police as protest violence intensifies

Most appeared to be youngsters, although not many were dressed in black, the colour protesters have been wearing during the wave of rallies over the past few weeks.

They filled the public gallery, while those who failed to secure a seat stood in the aisle to watch.

Meanwhile at Kowloon City Court on Tuesday, three demonstrators were granted bail in relation to a separate protest in Mong Kok on July 7.

Cook Wong Tsz-lung, 31, student Ng Yui-chit, 23, and teacher Jessica So Wai-sin, 24, faced one joint count of false imprisonment against an unnamed woman in Shantung Street. Wong faced an additional count of indecent assault.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Bail for man accused of bitting police officer