Doc arrested as vandalism escalates

Top News | Cindy Wan 14 Oct 2019

A public doctor was among scores of protesters arrested amid massive vandalism targeting shops and MTR stations yesterday on the 19th weekend of unrest.

The Tseung Kwan O Hospital doctor, surnamed Cheung, was arrested in PopCorn mall. Police did not say why he was held.

Scores of protesters smashed glass panes and vandalized shops alleged to be affiliated with Fujian gangsters and pro-government politicians.

The vandalism spread to MTR stations, light rails and major roads, with protesters destroying ticket machines and traffic lights.

Protesters gathered in various districts in the afternoon in response to online calls to target at least 19 malls.

At 8pm police were investigating an explosion from a suspected home-made bomb outside Top mall on Nathan Road, Mong Kok.

Reports from the scene said there was a loud blast between two stationed police vehicles. A red plastic bag with batteries, circuit board, a mobile phone and wires were later found.

Earlier at 2.30 pm, protesters attacked Maxim's franchises - including Genki Sushi and Starbucks - by spraying paint them and drawing graffiti on the tables.

In PopCorn in Tseung Kwan O, snack shop Best Mart 360 - owned by a businessman allegedly related to Fujian gangs - had a shop forcefully opened and its walls vandalized with paint as protesters shouted "murderers" and "gangsters."

In Sha Tin, protesters smashed the glass facade and broke tables of Chiuchow Garden Restaurant - another Maxim's eatery - and later vandalized a shop of mainland telecoms giant Huawei.

Some protesters threw objects and rubbish on to the rail of the Sha Tin station, forcing the MTRC to suspend the train service at 3pm.

Another batch of protesters left the mall and ran toward Tai Wai along Shing Mun River, but they encountered riot police outside Che Kung Temple.

They were dispersed after the police fired three shots of tear gas grenades.

As the clash spread across the district, a police vehicle was hit by a petrol bomb on Rural Committee Road at 5pm. The protesters set numerous road blocks with chairs and tables from vandalized shops.

In Tai Po, after vandals hit Mega Mall, riot police tried to enter but were stopped by security guards.

Police then arrested several protesters outside the mall and set up a cordon line on Tai Wo Road, where a protester threw a bag of cockroaches to deter the officers from marching forward.

Protesters later flooded a Bank of China branch with a fire hose and vandalized pro-Beijing lawmaker Eunice Yung Hoi-yan's offices on Ting Kwok Road.

In Tsuen Wan, tear gas was fired on Tai Ho Road and a bridge near New Town mall. In Tuen Mun, protesters launched flashmob vandalism at Tai Hing government offices. Objects and rubbish were thrown and burned on the Pui To Light Rail station.

By 9.12 pm, a total of 37 out of 94 heavy rail stations were closed.

The whole Tsuen Wan and Tseung Kwan O lines and light rail were suspended.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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