A comedian performing at a Lan Kwai Fong pub on Wednesday night allegedly smashed a beer glass into the face of a heckler who suggested that his jokes were racist, leaving the man with wounds that required 40 stitches. The victim, Ravi Kanasamoorthe, suffered cuts across his face as well as a split lip. He was sent to Queen Mary Hospital after the incident as the comedian was taken into custody.
The fracas took place during a regular open mic event at the Hong Kong Brew House. Police responded at around 10:30pm and are investigating the case as an assault occasioning in actual bodily harm.
“This chap was on stage, he made one off-colour joke, which was denigrating [the] local Chinese population,” Kanasamoorthe, an entertainment agent, told HKFP. “I cannot remember what the joke was about, but it was a little insulting and I said ‘Hey man, that’s racist.’ Second joke he made again was racist, so I said ‘Hey, that’s a racist joke.’ This dude walks off stage, calmly picks up his glass… grabs the glass and smashes it across my face.”
An eyewitness, who requested anonymity, claimed the performer attacked the victim whilst shouting that he was “very offended at being called racist.”
Chris Musni, of Comedy HK, which organises the Open Mic Comedy nights, said the incident was “a bit of a shock as we’ve been doing shows for years for thousands of audience members and nothing like this has happened once.” Musni said that Comedy HK will continue to hold open mic nights and that they do not condone any violent behaviour from performers or audience members.
Gita Debighale, a supervisor at the Brew House said that the comedian had apologised and that it was the first time she had witnessed such behaviour from the suspect.
Kanasamoorthe said that he has given a statement to the police and will let them handle the case. He added that he was not planning on taking any further action at this time.
The suspect told an HKFP reporter that he will go to Australia over the weekend. His lawyer declined to comment.