A video of a drunk British man sexually assaulting a woman and then getting lynched in Beijing went viral on May 9, receiving more than 7 million views in two days and sparking outrage among Chinese netizens.
The video is titled “People of Beijing, remember this foreigner’s face. We’ll beat him up every time we see him.” and shows a man standing between the legs of a Chinese woman lying on her back on a raised bed of flowers outside, her dress pulled up exposing her underwear. As the woman screams for help, a Chinese passer-by intervenes and asks the man what he is doing. The man answers inaudibly and the video transitions to him being chased and beaten down by several Chinese men. The video ends with the man lying on the ground until the police arrive at the scene.
▼The video contains disturbing scenes. Viewer discretion is advised.
The man is currently under custody and has been identified as British and holding a tourist visa.
The video has been met with a flood of comments from Chinese net users cheering on the Chinese man who intervened and condemning the alleged rapist.
Global Times followed up on the incident by tracking down several witnesses, including the Chinese man seen at the beginning of the video:
The first Chinese man in the film seen intervening is a 24-year-old man, surnamed Wu, a security guard in the nearby China Co-op Group Building.
“After I grabbed his neck and saw he’s a laowai (foreigner), I felt more obligated to save the girl,” Wu told the Global Times.
Wu claimed the incident happened right across the bicycle lane in front of the building, and said that more than 10 people were involved in the fight.
“When the girl screamed for help the first time, I thought it was a lovers’ tiff,” said Wu, “but after she screamed ‘I don’t know this guy’, I realized something was wrong,” said Wu.
“I went to the police station to make a statement, and I learnt the girl is only 18. Her life would have been ruined if we hadn’t stopped him,” said Wu.
As of May 11, the indecent remains under investigation and though the British consulate in Beijing has been informed of the story, they report they have yet to be asked for assistance.