At 4:30 pm, Riot Police officers of the Hong Kong Police Force pulled over and stormed a bus in Yau Ma Tei. The officers intimidated passengers and forcefully arrested the bus driver without good cause for the offence of “dangerous driving” as he was suspected to have been wearing a gas mask. Some passengers protested the arrest while others cried for help. Before the commencement of the Mong Kok demonstration, the Hong Kong Police Force had already stopped and boarded several buses for investigation.
Simultaneously, officers had been arresting civilians present at the scene in Mong Kok at Sai Yeung Choi Street, and had been firing pepper-spray projectiles at crowds. Many felt unwell and some, including a young teenage girl, were tackled and pinned to the ground by Riot Police officers in the ensuing chaos.
At 5:00 pm, Riot Police officers stopped and searched journalists at Shantung Street, Mong Kok, while plain clothes officers infiltrated the crowds and arrested many civilians by force, after which the blue banner was raised and officers sprayed pepper at the crowds. Many, along with a plain clothes officer, were hit by the spray and fell. A journalist fainted, requiring first-aid assistance from volunteer paramedics who eventually requested an ambulance as his condition had yet to improve. The commotion among the Police Force intensified and officers raised both the blue and purple banners.
At 5:20 pm, civilians at Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok had yet to cease chanting the slogan “Glory to Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times”, and officers raised the purple banner once again. Afterwards at 5:41 pm, the Police had fired at least seven pepper-spray projectiles while most shops were still open and in the presence of elderly passers-by. Many civilians felt unwell as a result, with some requiring first aid assistance. Some hawkers commented that no protest was ongoing at the time the pepper projectiles were fired, and condemned the Police for inciting mass confusion.