Tangshan attack: Chinese man sentenced to 24 years for violent attack on women in restaurants

Chen Jizhi, along with four other defendants, was found guilty of brutally attacking four women with chairs, bottles, punching and kicking at a barbecue restaurant in June after one of the women refused sexual advances from Chen in a local court in Hebei. the province said on Friday.

A fifth defendant was found guilty of threatening one of the victims against calling the police.

The court ruled that Chen was the leader of a criminal gang that committed a number of crimes over the past decade. He was charged with gathering quarrels and causing trouble, robbery, opening casinos, illegal detention of others, intentional injury and a fine of 320,000 yuan.

Likewise, the court sentenced 27 other defendants to prison terms of between six months and 11 years for their participation in the crimes.

Two of the women suffered “secondary minor injuries”, and the other two suffered “minor injuries”, according to the judge.

The attack drew public attention in early June after harrowing surveillance footage surfaced online. In the video, Chen is seen approaching female diners and placing his hand on the back of one of the women. The woman pushes him away, then Chen slaps him and pushes him to the ground.

The other men then join the attack, dragging a woman by her hair, hitting her with bottles and chairs, and repeatedly kicking her in the head. A woman who tries to help him is pushed away and lands hard on the back of his head on the stairs.

The graphic video sparked a wave of outrage and panic, sparking debate about violence against women and gender inequality in China.

But instead of tackling gender-based violence, Chinese authorities and state media shifted the focus to local gang violence, prompting Tangshan to launch a two-week campaign to tackle organized crime.

Late last month, authorities said 28 people had been charged in connection with the attack. Meanwhile, the Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said 15 officials were being investigated for corruption involving “rogue organizations”.

Among them, eight police officers and constables were arrested for providing “protection” to the criminal gang.