Chinese man detained after horror attack on woman sparks nationwide manhunt

PHOTO: miaopai/一手video

Police in northeastern China have detained a man they say launched a vicious attack on a woman at the weekend, after shocking video of the assault sparked outrage and a nationwide manhunt.

Dalian police detained a 31-year-old man, surnamed Wang, on Tuesday night more than 24 hours after footage from a surveillance camera at the scene turned up on Chinese social media. The video was time and date stamped at 12.44am on Saturday, but it was unknown where the crime had occurred.

Cyber police in the southwestern province of Sichuan took the unusual step on Monday of appealing for help from China's online community in identifying the location of the attack, in which the woman was punched and kicked repeatedly in the head, before her assailant dragged her by the hair out of the camera frame.

Media outlets, including Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, joined the call for help from the public in identifying where the assault had occurred.

Internet sleuths finally managed to identify the location on Tuesday as a street in Ganjingzi district in Dalian, Liaoning province, and pushed local police to step up their investigation.

According to Dalian police, Wang beat the woman multiple times and sexually assaulted her. He did not know his victim and had been drinking alcohol. The police statement said he had told them he was emotional after an argument with his girlfriend.

Dalian police said Wang was taken into custody at a residential community in the district where the assault happened.

In an earlier statement, Dalian police said the victim, aged 29, had reported the attack and was treated in hospital for "soft tissue damage". According to police she had been on her way home when the assault took place, and was "fine" after treatment.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.