Foreigner held after baton tussle

Top News | Staff reporter 9 Dec 2019

A foreign man believed to be an American has been arrested for allegedly trying to snatch the extendable baton of an off-duty police officer.

A video went viral showing a Westerner dragging the officer by his hair across the MTR Causeway Bay station hall.

Police said the officer had seen another man jump over a ticket gate at about 12.50pm on Saturday.

He identified himself while intercepting the man, who tried to flee.

Police said a 35-year-old man, believed to be an American, and another Westerner, aged between 40 and 50, then tried to help the man who jumped over the ticket gate escape.

The two Westerners, police added, started punching the officer.

But the officer, with the help of a passerby, subdued the 35-year-old, while the other Westerner and the man who jumped the ticket gate fled the scene. After investigation, the 35-year-old man was arrested for assaulting an officer and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The case is being handled by the Wan Chai criminal investigation unit. In an eight-minute video filmed by a passerby, the off-duty officer, wearing a blue jacket and holding an extendable baton, points to the 35-year-old Westerner and asks: "What are you doing? What are you doing?"

The Westerner then asks the officer: "Are you popo [police]?"

The officer denies it at first but says yes when the Westerner asks him again if he is an officer.

As shown in the video, the officer and the Westerner scuffle, with both holding the baton. During the scuffle, some people question the identity of the officer and yell: "Show your police warrant card!" The officer tells them to call the police.

A few minutes later, two uniformed officers arrive and the off-duty officer takes out his police warrant card and tells them what happened.

The Westerner is taken away by police without resisting.

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