Officer clubbed after fleeing flat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2007, 12:00am

Attackers pursue constable after he climbs out third-floor window and falls to lane

An off-duty policeman fled out the window of his third-floor flat in his underwear early yesterday to avoid attackers, only to be viciously clubbed by them in a Yau Ma Tei alley.

The constable, who was in serious condition in hospital last night, had shinned down the drainpipes after climbing out the window at about 5am, but fell onto a first floor canopy before tumbling to the street below.

Police said Constable Soong Ko-chung, 37, appeared to have been in a hurry to escape his Temple Street flat because he was only wearing underpants at the time.

A police source said the possibility the incident was linked to a love dispute had not been ruled out.

Investigators said his assailants probably knew his escape route and were waiting between Temple Street and Woosung Street.

It seems the officer was clubbed with bottles when he reached the ground.

After the attack, he sought help in a Woosung Street restaurant before passing out. 'The restaurant owner told us that a man soaked in blood ran into the restaurant shouting that he was a policeman and then collapsed,' a police source said.

The constable suffered serious injuries all over his body.

Constable Soong was unconscious and wearing an oxygen mask when paramedics were carrying him to an ambulance.

Last night, the officer's condition was listed as critical after surgery. But he was later upgraded to serious condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

An elderly resident living in a first-floor flat said he was awakened by the sound of arguing upstairs and observed the events from his kitchen window.

'There was a loud bang. I looked out of window and saw a man had fallen on to an air-conditioner on the first-floor canopy.

'He then rolled onto the canopy,' he said.

'I went inside and called police. He had disappeared when I returned.'

Senior Superintendent Leung Ka-ming, of the Kowloon West police regional crime unit, said the victim was not attacked with a knife.

'Broken glass bottles were found in the alley,' Mr Leung said. 'We believe glass bottles were one of the weapons used in the attack. There's no indication that he had a debt problem or was linked to illegal gambling. We are still investigating the motive behind the attack.'

Constable Soong is single and lives alone. He is attached to the Kowloon City station and is responsible for driving a police patrol van.

'Initial investigations showed that he is a hard-working officer. His record is clear and he hasn't had sick leave in six months,' another source said. 'But he keeps a low profile. He rarely goes out with his colleagues after work, so they do not know much about him.'

About 40 officers from the Police Tactical Unit mounted a search and were seen checking rubbish bins, street stalls and beneath parked vehicles.

Government chemists also collected evidence from the scene which was closed for about nine hours.

Detectives from the Kowloon West regional crime unit are investigating the case. No arrests have been made.