A Chinese vendor's plan to fake his own death at the hands of social enforcers failed when he could not play dead long enough in scorching heat, state media reported Monday.
More than 10 men claimed the soft drinks vendor had been beaten to death in the central city of Wuhan by chengguan, who are tasked with enforcing non-criminal regulations in towns and cities.
Chengguan have long been accused of abusing their powers -- six were said to have beaten a watermelon seller to death in the central province of Hunan last month -- and a crowd of more than 300 people soon gathered, Xinhua news agency said.
Authorities look to control any outbreaks of social unrest in China, and eventually more than 80 police were deployed.
The protesters demanded tens of thousands of yuan (thousands of dollars) in compensation while the vendor, surnamed Han, lay silently on a stretcher covered by a sheet, the report said.
But parts of China have been experiencing record temperatures this summer and the heat, measured by local residents as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), proved too much for Han to take.
He suddenly jumped up from the gurney, took a drink from a bottle of water, and said: "It's too hot. I can't bear it any more," Xinhua reported.
Han and two others have been detained for disturbing public order, it said.