AsiaWire / Guomin Tuba
This video – seen over seven million times – shows a poor scrap collector being violently driven away by staff members outside a building where he has parked his tricycle.
Poverty-stricken scrap collector Mr Zhang, 57, was collecting discarded goods from neighbouring buildings in his residential district when he was accosted by building staff on 28th February.
Footage taken by a local resident in the Zhangwulou Residential District, which is in China’s north-eastern port city of Tianjin, shows a group of men removing his tricycle from the front of the building.
One of the men seems to be using a pair of bolt cutters to cut the wire lock put on the tricycle to stop it being stolen.
Among the men is building manager Mr Li, 42, who can be seen repeatedly pushing the scrap collector to the ground as he protests.
While Mr Zhang struggles to reclaim his tricycle, he grabs on to one of the back wheels and is dragged away by the building manager, the video shows.
The footage ends with Mr Zhang hobbling as he goes after his tricycle, which is pushed away from the building.
Tianjin police investigated the incident after the footage went viral and drew public criticism.
On 29th February, the authorities said they had summoned and detained the building manager for 10 days for a public order offence.
The police said Mr Li “pushed, dragged and hit” the scrap collector, for which he was also given a 500-RMB (60-GBP) fine.
Mr Zhang reportedly injured his left leg during the scuffle, and claims he has yet to receive a personal apology from the building manager.
He makes a living collecting and selling scrap found in his residential district, where he is understood to be living on a government subsidy.
He has continued to do so during the coronavirus outbreak in order to earn a living.
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