Police under investigation over attack on women in Tangshan

Han Jing
Several officers are being investigated over their handling of the case and at least one has been removed from his post. The brutal attack on four women shocked the nation.
Han Jing

Several police officers involved in an incident this month in which four women were brutally beaten by nine people in Tangshan City in north China's Hebei Province are under investigation and at least one has been removed from his post.

The police chief of the Lubei branch of the public security bureau, Ma Aijun, is now under investigation led by the Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision in Langfang City.

Hu Bin, chief of the police station on Jichang Road, Han Zhiyong, deputy chief of the guard station on Changhong Road, officer Chen Zhiwei and Fan Lifeng, former chief of the Guangmingli police station, are also under investigation by two other districts, the provincial discipline inspection committee announced on its website on Tuesday.

The deputy chief of the Lubei branch of the public security bureau in Tangshan, surnamed Li, has been removed from office.

The attack in a barbecue restaurant on June 10 was caught on a security camera and released online. It shocked the whole nation and also captured headlines around the world.

The nine assailants, seven men and two women, have been in custody since the following day.

Two of the victims, surnamed Yuan and Li, left the hospital after an examination. The other two, surnamed Wang and Liu, remain in the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the provincial public security department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police said a man surnamed Chen harassed Wang, who was eating in the restaurant after work around 2:40am. After Wang rebuffed him, Chen violently beat her and her companions, helped by the other eight attackers.

Police said four of the suspects drove from eastern Jiangsu Province to Tangshan City on June 7. Seven of them were involved in money laundering and Internet gambling involving 660,300 yuan (US$98,590).

The accused face up to three years in jail over the attack and further investigation for other illegal activities such as running casinos.

Tangshan's public security bureau has vowed to crack down on gang-related activities.

In the wake of this case, Tangshan launched a special citywide operation called "Thunderstorm" on June 12, targeting illegal activities such as fighting, provoking trouble, intentional injury and insulting women.

The campaign also targets extortion, bullying, gambling, drug use and cybercrime, as well as dereliction of duty and cover-up by officials.

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