Five Saudi men were arrested in connection with a harassment case that was caught on video last week outside a mall in Dhahran, Eastern Province, police said on Monday.
Two other men on the run have been identified and located and will be taken in for investigation, a police statement said.
Prince Saud bin Naif, governor of the Eastern Province, earlier ordered an investigation into the case to identify the perpetrators after a video of the incident was posted on YouTube, the statement said.
Investigators looked into the video clip and mall surveillance camera videos to identify the men, who harassed five women inside the mall and chased them to the parking lot last Monday. The men were seen to be verbally and physically abusive of women.
The men, who are in their 30s, are students and employees, Lt. Col. Ziyad Al-Ruqaiti, spokesman of the Eastern Province Police, told Arab News.
The five men arrested are the main accused in the case and will be referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution for further investigation and legal procedures, the statement added. The two other main culprits are still on the run in an “undisclosed area,” Al-Ruqaiti said.
Sources said that at least two of the suspects tried to escape the country through a border point after the harassment video clip had gone viral on social media networks and news outlets.
Witnesses said that the women provoked the men with tribal slurs.
Eastern Province Police have said that they would not tolerate such “inappropriate behavior” and would deal firmly with perpetrators, calling on young men and women to respect the Islamic public moral code of conduct and Saudi Arabian traditions.
This incident is the first to spark public outrage after the 2005 harassment attack by four men on a group of women in Riyadh, which was also caught on video. The men were identified and brought to justice. They received jail term sentences and lashes.