Eviction is aborted after man's jump threat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2006, 12:00am

A public housing tenant facing eviction threatened to jump 22 floors to his death yesterday after Housing Department staff broke into his flat.

The 39-year-old man perched outside the flat in Tsz Wan Shan for three hours before being rescued by firemen. The department suspended the eviction order and said it would have further talks with the man before deciding what to do.

The drama began at 10.30am when workers broke down the security gate and door of the flat in Ching Tak House, Tsz Ching Estate, after no one answered the door.

'As our staff broke open the wooden door, the tenant ran out into the balcony and climbed out of a window,' said the estate's assistant housing manager, Fu Ken-shing. 'We immediately closed down [the operation] and called police.'

The tenant, who had lived in the flat since 1993, had ignored a notice-to-quit order issued on February 28 and several letters and notices since, the department said. He was being evicted after he earlier refused to declare his assets.

Police said the man was found sitting on a ledge outside the unit in an emotional state. Negotiators were called when he refused to return to the unit.

'During the three-hour negotiation, the man told our negotiators that he did not want to return to the unit and he wanted to commit suicide,' an officer said.

Shortly before 1.30pm, a fireman abseiled down from a 23rd-floor unit to secure the man before he was pulled back into the flat with the help of other firemen. He was unhurt.

In a separate case, a former public housing tenant, 42, threatened to jump from the fourth-floor podium of Leung King Estate shopping centre in Tuen Mun, three days after the department took back his unit in the Po Tin Interim Housing Estate in Tuen Mun. Police said the man calmed down and returned to the building.