The Hong Kong police, ominously banging their batons on their shields, inched slowly towards the chanting protesters down the street.
Suddenly, an officer fired a volley of tear gas canisters right past my head.
I ran towards a locked Indian restaurant and begged the owner to let me in.
As we watched the running battles taking place outside, he said ruefully: “This is the fourth riot here so far this month and nowhere near the worst!”
But it was terrifying outside as thousands of protestors besieged the police station in the suburb of Sham Sui Po.
Violent protests are now a nightly occurrence in the former British colony.
Tensions have never been higher, with China deciding to send a huge military unit to the city nearest the border.
Fears of full-scale conflict have been ramped up with China’s official Xinha news agency claiming “mobsters” had created “an atmosphere of terror” on Hong Kong’s streets.
The protesters had achieved their mission at the airport by forcing flights to be cancelled for two days, so they moved their target to this police station.
I watched as officers used loudhailers to order the crowd to disperse before firing dozens of tear gas canisters in Yen Chow Street.
Protesters had organised a targeted laser beam attack on them.
This area is far from the central business district. Until recently, it has been quiet and restrained – but the presence of the large police station means it is now on the frontline.
And the revelation that China has moved hundreds of armoured vehicles has sparked fears of a potential intervention.
Dixon Sing Ming, a political science professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the move was “psychological warfare”.
He said: “The drill is part and parcel of a well-coordinated attempt by Beijing to pressure the protesters and the general public to give up their five demands, including the one for universal suffrage, immediately.”
It also emerged China has denied requests for two US Navy ships to visit Hong Kong.
The USS Green Bay was due to stop there on Saturday, while the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie planned a call next month.
Commander Nate Christensen, the deputy spokesman for the United States Pacific Fleet, said: “The government denied requests for port visits to Hong Kong by the two vesseIs.”
The Hong Kong government today called the “violent acts” of protesters “outrageous” and said they had “overstepped the bottom line of a civilised society”.
The regime added that police would take “relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice”.
Protesters were banned from large sections of the airport after a court granted the Airport Authority an injunction after violent scenes on Tuesday.
It emerged one of the people arrested in the 10th week of the anti-government protests was a 14-year-old. The boy, who cannot be named, is the youngest person charged in connection with the unrest.
He was among 20 people charged at two Hong Kong courts for offences that included rioting, assaulting police and the possession of explosive substances.
Protesters say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that had ensured some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back in 1997.