Man Punches Subway Passenger After Being Asked to Lower Phone Volume in Viral Video

CCTV footage has captured the moment an apparently irate subway commuter punched a fellow passenger in the face after being told to lower the volume of his cellphone.

Arrested for assault and jailed for five days, the man and his left hook have since featured in a viral video released by police in the eastern Chinese port city of Shanghai on Thursday.

In the clip, the guilty train passenger, who was identified only by his surname Zhao, can be seen watching a video on his mobile phone while standing in the middle of a crowded carriage during his morning commute.

He is approached by a younger man, surnamed Ni, who taps him on the arm and asks him to turn down the sound of his video, according to the report by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Shanghai Metro has forbidden the playing of music or videos aloud in train cars since new regulations were introduced on December 1 last year. The guidelines—introduced for the sake of public consideration—have also been applied in other major cities like Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang in eastern China.

However, the footage now viewed more than four million times on Chinese social media shows Zhao appearing to ignore the other passenger, before cutting to a scene of him throwing a punch at Ni for insisting, striking him on the right side of the face.

A number of passengers in the carriage are left startled by the violent incident, but Ni does not retaliate and instead pulls out his own phone to report the assault, according to the footage.

Announcing Zhao's detention following the March 11 incident, Shanghai police also showed accompanying footage of Zhao sitting in an interrogation room with his head in his hands.

The authorities said the attack occurred on Line 1 of the Shanghai Metro, which records average daily passenger figures of over 12 million.

There have been 143 cases of physical assault on the Shanghai Metro since the start of the year, resulting in 121 arrests, the police report said.

It is unclear whether Ni suffered any significant injuries from the punch.

"Don't fight," Shanghai police wrote. "If you lose, you end up in hospital; if you win, you end up in jail."

Social media users on Weibo, a microblogging platform similar to Twitter, sympathized with Ni but said there was no need to take matters into his own hands.

"The young man did the right thing. Instead of retaliating, he immediately called the cops," one Weibo user said.

"I wouldn't even try correcting him. Someone willing to accept correction wouldn't have played the video aloud in the first place. Just call metro staff and have them handle the matter," a second added.

"Playing sounds in public is really, really annoying," another commented.

Subway Commuter Punches Passenger After Noise Complaint
This screen grab, taken from a video released by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau on April 1, 2021, shows Shanghai Metro commuter Zhao punching fellow passenger Ni in the face following an argument over the volume of Zhao’s phone. Shanghai Public Security Bureau