[UPDATED] Foreigner Details Attack Outside of Beijing Bar, Outlines Police Procedure
[UPDATED Mar 17, 1.45pm] The victim involved in the attack has contacted the Beijinger directly and would like it to be known that her assailants were both foreign and the attack was not racially motivated. She also states that she was asked by the police if she wanted the couple jailed but that they came to a private mediation instead.
An article posted on March 16 on the Global Times details one expat's experience of dealing with the police after being physically assaulted outside of a Beijing bar.
The expat, speaking under the pseudonym of Crystal Hardy, describes how she was involved in an unprovoked attack after leaving a bar at around 3am. The two attackers, a couple, had been getting increasingly drunk in the bar and followed Hardy outside when she went to leave. Before she could do so however, the girl hit Hardy and was then attacked by the girl's boyfriend, who choked her before throwing her to the ground by her wrist.
The article then goes on to describe how Hardy, who has been in Beijing for 10 months, went about filing an assault case with the police. Hardy first asked her Chinese friend to call the police and find out what the procedures were as well as how to secure the CCTV footage from outside the bar. The responder told her which police station she should visit and noted down her statement so that it could be followed up when she arrived.
At the station the officer, who luckily spoke English, asked for her passport, checked her visa and housing registration, took her statement and instructed her to get an X-ray of her wrist. She then returned to the station she was then driven by officers to a forensic medical examination center to assess her injuries.
The article does not say what became of the attackers or whether Hardy intends to press charges, nor does it say where the couple were from and if race was a factor in the attack.
Overall, Hardy is quoted as saying that she had a generally positive experience and that "The police were friendly and very accommodating ... Even though I wish the incident never happened, it was an eye-opening experience, and I think it is important for all expats to become familiar with the process if they ever need it."
Although Beijing is usually considered to be extremely safe by expats, there have been a number of attacks involving foreigners in the past few years, including an unprovoked but apparently racially motivated stabbing of a foreigner's wife outside of Uniqlo in Sanlitun in 2015, a cleaver attack injuring two women outside of a Sanlitun congregation in September 2016, and the attack of a Canadian expat outside of a Gulou bar on Christmas Eve 2016.
Even though attacks are very uncommon it is advised that you remain aware of your surroundings at all times, especially at night when there is often little light in the hutongs or in areas where there are a high concentration of bars and intoxicated people.
If you are a witness or victim of a crime or accident, call 110 to contact the police emergency line or text their messaging system at 12110. You will need to provide your name, contact number, and address, as well as much as you can about the incident that took place. If your Chinese isn't great it's advised that you find someone that can help you file your report as although Hardy was lucky enough to find a policeman that was able to speak English, from our experience that's a rarity.
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