See update after the jump.
Does anyone have more information about this?
This email was sent by the US Embassy in Beijing 10 minutes ago, with the subject, “Message for U.S. Citizens: Precautions Advised in Beijing Nightclubs”:
In the early morning hours of Saturday, June 9, a group of local nationals assaulted an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing inside the Element nightclub, located on the west side of Workers’ Stadium near Sanlitun. The employee, who was out with some colleagues, was hit in the head with a sharp object as he was dancing away from the group. According to witnesses, the employee fell to the floor and was repeatedly beaten and kicked in the head by individuals serving as bouncers for the nightclub. By all accounts, the attack was unprovoked.
This is not the first report of violence directed at U.S. citizens in the nightclubs outside of Workers’ Stadium. In September 2010, another employee of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing was assaulted inside a different nightclub at the north end of Workers’ Stadium in another unprovoked incident. Private U.S. citizens have also reported being victims of crime in the nearby area.
U.S. citizens are reminded to use caution when enjoying the nightlife in Beijing. Maintaining an awareness of your surroundings and keeping a low profile are critical to avoiding potential problems.
These embassy advisories get sent every once in a while, and almost always, they involve some shady nightclub around Sanlitun that most people — foreign or local — should never find themselves going on. Add “Element” to that list, I guess.
Obviously, there are lots of unanswered questions. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
The rest of the embassy’s email:
The U.S. Embassy can be reached 24 hours per day. During business hours, call 86-10-8531-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergencies after hours or on weekends, call 86-10-8531-3000. The Embassy is located near the Line 10 LiangMaQiao subway stop at 55 An Jia Lou Road, Chaoyang District. The Embassy’s website is http://beijing.usembassy-
If you are residing or traveling in China, we recommend that you enroll with the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at: https://travelregistration.
state.gov. You should also regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov while living or traveling abroad.
UDPATE, 6/13, 5:24 pm: Global Times and the Beijinger have both followed up with Elements regarding this incident. First, GT:
A male employee from Elements, who requested anonymity, denied the embassy’s version of events, despite admitting that he was not present, and was told of the incident afterward.
“Two foreigners suddenly started fighting. They severely affected our business that night, and they didn’t stop after we tried to calm them down,” the man said.
The employee claimed that when the club’s security staff intervened, they were the ones assaulted by the foreigners. The club is calculating losses incurred and checking on injuries to its security staff, he said.
Zi Xiangdong, spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB), said he was unaware of the incident, and as of press time, was still looking into it.
And the Beijinger:
We spoke to the PR of Elements and they confirmed to us that there was indeed a melee on June 9. The fight got out of hand and the club security was called in to deal with it. In the process, some patrons were ejected from the club. Elements went on to add that their door staff are not trained to hit people with bottles so they’d be very surprised if the attackers were their staffers; it could have been any of the people involved in the original incident.