A video that went viral showing a 12-year-old girl kneeling and being slapped in the face about 20 times by a group of teenagers in broad daylight on the rooftop of a Hong Kong building has sparked a citywide police search for the attackers.
Detectives from the Tsuen Wan criminal investigation unit began looking into the assault after the victim’s father made a report to police at 6.43pm on Sunday.
Police said the girl was taken to Pok Oi Hospital in Yuen Long to treat injuries to her face.
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The investigation suggested the assault took place on the rooftop of a five-storey block of flats on Luen Yan Street in Tsuen Wan shortly before 5.30pm on Saturday, according to the force.
In the beginning of the video circulated on the internet, the victim knelt in front of another girl and removed her mask before being slapped in the face.
The clip lasts about two minutes and 19 seconds and shows the victim being slapped by at least four teenage girls who were speaking either in Mandarin or Cantonese.
“Beat harder” was also heard from one of the onlookers in the video that attracted more than 41,000 viewers.
The victim did not make any attempt to dodge or defend herself in the video that did not capture the face of the attackers.
As of Monday morning, no arrests had been made. According to police, officers were searching for about five girls in connection with the case.
Police have classified the case as assault occasioning actual bodily harm, an offence punishable by up to three years in jail under the Offences against the Person Ordinance.
In the first three months of this year, there were 157 juveniles aged between 10 and 15 arrested for crime, down 38.2 per cent from 254 in 2021.
The number of young people aged between 16 and 20 arrested for crime dropped by 37.1 per cent to 291 between January and March of 2022 from 463 in the same period last year.