Four police wounded in bloody conclusion to siege
Their attacker had locked himself in his Tsing Yi flat over a minor traffic offence
Four policemen suffered severe chop wounds after being attacked by a man who had barricaded himself into his Tsing Yi flat after another officer tried to serve a summons for a minor bicycle offence.
The emergency unit officers, armed with batons and riot shields, were injured after they smashed their way into the flat to confront the man, who was wielding two 30cm knives.
Three of the officers were in serious condition at Yan Chai Hospital, while the fourth was in stable condition last night.
All of the officers, aged between 30 and 35, suffered severe slash wounds.
Their unit had been called to the ninth floor of Yee Yat House in Tsing Yi Estate at about 4.40pm after a traffic officer tried to serve the summons on the 45-year-old man, surnamed Lee. Police said the officer was punched and threatened with a folded chair.
He fled and called for assistance.
When the reinforcements arrived, the man armed himself with two knives, locked himself in his flat and threatened to kill himself.
Firemen inflated a giant air mattress in front of the building in case the man jumped as police negotiators tried to persuade him to open the door and disarm himself.
He held police at bay for two and a half hours before police decided to storm the flat at about 7.10pm.
Several emergency unit officers armed with pepper spray, batons and riot shields broke open the front door, but found the armed man had locked himself in the toilet and was screaming at the top of his voice, an officer at the scene said.
The officer said that because his colleagues feared that the man might try to harm himself, they immediately decided to break open the toilet door.
As they broke the door down, one of the officers slipped and fell to the ground. The man began chopping him with the knives.
One of the other officers used his shield to protect his fallen comrade but he was also wounded.
The man was eventually overpowered after slashing two other officers.
He was handcuffed after an officer sprayed him with a cannister of pepper spray. Four large knives were seized from the flat.
Police said the man lived alone and his gas supplies had been cut off some time ago after he had failed to pay his bills.
The man suffered injuries to his left hand and was admitted to Caritas Medical Centre for observation and treatment. He was being held under police guard.
Last Friday, a sergeant and three constables were injured when they were attacked by a man during a raid on an alleged triad-controlled gambling den in Chuen Lung Street, Tsuen Wan.
In recent months, other officers have been subjected to taunts and verbal abuse by suspected triad members on the street, raising calls for tougher legislation to deal with such situations.