The suspect after arrest. Image Credit: Okaz

Cairo: Saudi authorities arrested a citizen who appeared in a viral video assaulting a female nurse at a hospital, sparking anger and calls for tough punishment, local media reported.

The Saudi man is seen in the video dragging the woman on the floor as others try to stop him.

Police in Asir in south-western Saudi Arabia said they arrested the man for attacking the nurse at a hospital in Al Majaridah governorate. Legal procedures were taken and he has been referred to prosecution, police added.

The assault that occurred on Thursday evening came after the man had asked the nurse to remove a feeding needle, but she did not respond promptly, a colleague of the victim told Saudi online newspaper Ajel.

“The nurse has a distinguished record. She has been working at the hospital for nearly a year now,” the colleague added.

Commenting on the incident, the Saudi Health Ministry said that verbal or physical attacks on health practitioners is punishable by law.

Penalties include a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of SR1 million, the ministry added.

Saudi media carried a picture of the suspect handcuffed behind back after arrest.

The assault drew massive condemnations online, with commentators demanding the attacker to be brought to justice.

“What are these wrong behaviors, we cannot remain silent about such matters. How does this person assault a nurse?” a man named Hamad Al Muteiri tweeted in English.

“What happened last night [Thursday] against one of nurse is a CRIME and we emphasise that any verbal or physical assault is a punishable by Saudi law up to 10years in jail time & a fine of 1 million riyals,” said another commentator.

As news of the attacks went round, an Arabic hashtag has trended reading “A citizen attacks a Saudi nurse”. Authorities did not confirm the nurse’s nationality.