Cops hint at 'riot' scenes after wild weekend

Top News | Jane Cheung 10 Sep 2019

Jane Cheung

Nearly 160 people were arrested after a weekend of vandalism at MTR stations as police used 32 beanbag rounds, 31 canisters of tear gas, 19 rounds of rubber bullets and one sponge grenade in clashes with protesters.

As the unrest enters its fourth month, 17 people were injured on Sunday, including one in serious condition and three in stable condition, according to the Hospital Authority. The rest have been discharged.

Police arrested 157 people - 125 men and 32 women - between 14 and 63 years old, from Friday to Sunday for criminal damage, obstructing officers, possession of offensive weapons, assault of police officers, fighting, resisting arrest, contempt of court and unlawful assembly, senior superintendent Kong Wing-cheung of the Police Public Relations Branch said yesterday.

Kong then used the word "riot."

"According to legal definitions, assembling in a scene of riot may constitute rioting. The clothing, gear and reason why a person appeared at the scene would be considered."

Meanwhile, a police officer lost a bullet near Admiralty during law enforcement actions in Central on Sunday - the second such case in two weeks.

A team of 50 officers were deployed yesterday to look for the bullet. They stood in a horizontal line and searched every inch of the road as they moved in the direction of Wan Chai.

The team also searched Wan Chai Road and left after they searched Oi Kwan Road. The force later announced that they did not find the bullet.

On August 27, an officer lost a bullet that fell from his pocket in Sham Shui Po.

In the same press conference yesterday, Tsang Man-ha, deputy chief ambulance officer of the Fire Services Department, again denied rumors that three injured protesters in a police clearance action at the Prince Edward Station on August 31 had gone missing.

This came after some witnesses at the scene said a total of 10 people were sent on ambulances but the department later said only seven people were treated by its paramedics.

Tsang said injured protesters scattered in different locations in the station and paramedics faced difficulty in counting.

"There could be replication in the first count or the number changed after some of them said they no longer needed ambulance services," she said.

Journalists attending the press conference wore full protective gear to protest against officers using pepper spray on media men in a protest site in Prince Edward on Saturday.

A representative of the Hong Kong Journalists Association read out a statement condemning police's rude behavior and attitude toward journalists.

But chief superintendent John Tse Chun-chung of PPRB said someone wearing a yellow vest - the same color as the one worn by the press - assaulted police officers, prompting them to use pepper spray.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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