The incident took place at around 11pm on Saturday evening on the Fonsnylaan in the Brussels municipality of Sint-Gillis. The police were called out to deal with a fight. When they arrived a number of witnesses said that a 22-year-old man had first verbally abused a man of East Asian origin, accusing him of being the “cause” of the novel corona virus. He then proceeded to hit the East Asian man in the face several times. The victim gave a similar account of events in his witness statement. He was also able to identify his assailant.
The assailant was brandishing a knife, while the man that had been attacked had a broken bottle in his hand. The police were able to break up what by then had become a fight and the 22-year-old assailant was taken away for questioning. An Examining Magistrate later released him.