Briton held as suspect in indecent assault

The public has been urged not to take the law into its own hands after a video widely circulated online showed Chinese men beating a British tourist they suspected of indecently assaulting a woman.

Police confirmed on Thursday that a British man had been detained in connection with a reported attack on a woman in Beijing's Xicheng district at 11:20 pm on Tuesday night.

The man, whose identity has not been released, has a tourist visa and was drunk at the time of his arrest at Xuanwumen, according to a statement posted on the Beijing police Sina Weibo micro blog.

He was taken to Xuanwu Hospital for treatment on Tuesday night and transferred to a detention facility on Wednesday.

"The investigation is ongoing and further information will be released later," Zhao Feng, a police officer involved with the case, told China Daily.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Beijing said the embassy was aware of the incident but had received no request for consular support as of 7:30 pm on Thursday.

Edited footage of the alleged assault, which was recorded by a passer-by on a cell phone, was posted online and sparked outrage among Web users.

After showing a foreign man standing over a crying Chinese woman and being confronted by a Chinese man, the three-minute video skips to a brawl between the foreigner and Chinese men and then jumps a second time to the foreign man lying unconscious in the road.

Many Web users responded to the footage by praising the people who intervened in what police suspect was an indecent assault.

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