A masked man struck a 53-year-old with a drain cover during protests in Hong Kong on Sunday, knocking him unconscious.
Pro-democracy protesters take part in a march in Tsim Sha Tsui district, Hong Kong, China, on 01 December 2019. (EPA-EFE/MIGEUL CANDELA / MANILA BULLETIN)
A video posted by several news outlets showed the man in dark pants, light T-shirt, black cap and a mask rush towards the victim, who was clearing barricades set up by protesters and stopped to take out his phone, and hit him across the side of his head with a drain cover, leaving him unconscious.
A medical volunteer then approached the bleeding man to treat his injuries as he recovered consciousness.
The police said the man sustained serious head injuries in the attack, which took place at 1 am in Mong Kok neighborhood.
The victim was discharged on Sunday after receiving treatment at Kwong Mah hospital.
A police spokesperson condemned the attack, which was classified as injury and theft due to the victim's mobile phone being stolen, and said they "absolutely do not tolerate anyone who uses violence to achieve any goals."
"We are determined to enforce the law to restore social order, and seek responsibility over all law-breaking acts," he added.
The state media outlet RTHK on Monday reported that police were still hunting for the suspect.
Following two relatively quiet weeks, the protesters came out in force again on Sunday for three authorized marches in different parts of the city, each bigger than the one before.
In one of the marches, around 1,000 people gathered in a garden in Central for a demonstration under the theme of “Thanking the US” for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
However, early Monday, one of the marches turned violent as it passed through Kowloon district and some protesters smashed shops and restaurants and clashed with the police.
The Hong Kong protests, which have drawn massive crowds since June following a contentious proposed extradition law, have turned into a movement seeking to improve democracy in the city-state and safeguard the region's partial autonomy from Beijing.
However, some demonstrators have opted for more radical tactics than peaceful civil disobedience and violent clashes with the police have been frequent.