Son held after father found dead in street

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 October, 2009, 12:00am

A 22-year-old man was arrested yesterday and held overnight after his 76-year-old father was found dead on a footpath in Wong Tai Sin with multiple wounds on his head and limbs - after the body had been moved from another location.

The body was on a pedestrian walkway outside Luk Ching House, Choi Hung Estate, when medical officers arrived at the scene at about 1.30am yesterday. The man's 59-year-old wife admitted moving her husband from the spot where they had been waiting for the officers.

The dead man's son, surnamed Kwong, who was supposed to be with him, was not present when the officers arrived. Police found him later at home on nearby Ping Shek Estate. No charges had been laid last night.

Neighbours said the young man appeared to be mentally disabled. An officer in charge of the case said the son was not mentally ill.

It was not certain how and when the man died, or why his family moved him away from where he was supposed to have collapsed, he said.

Police received a call from Mrs Kwong at 1.19am saying her husband was unwell and that they were at a bus stop on Kwun Tong Road.

But when ambulance officers arrived at 1.31am, the family was nowhere to be seen. They called Mrs Kwong, who said she and her son had moved her husband to a spot outside Luk Ching House. She returned to the bus stop to lead the ambulance officers to the place.

On arrival, the officers found that the man was dead and that the son, who was meant to be waiting with him, was not there.

Police found the son six hours later at his home in Lam Shek House - about 300 metres from where they found his father's body - and took him and his mother to the Sau Mau Ping police station to help with the investigation.

Neighbours said the mother and son collected rubbish in the neighbourhood. They said the young man appeared to be mentally disabled, and that his father looked old and weak and seldom came out of the house.

Director of social welfare Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the family was not listed as a client of his department's social workers, but his colleagues would contact police to see if they could provide any assistance or emotional support.

An autopsy will be performed on the body to determine cause of death.

At 8pm last night, the case was still classified as 'dead body found'. An officer involved in the case said police were investigating whether the son had ever beaten his father.

Hong Kong Fire Services Ambulancemen's Union vice-chairmen Wat Ki-on warned the public not to move an injured person.

'The injured person may sustain other injuries during the move and, in an unconscious state, any movement may result in blocking of the injured person's respiratory tract, which could be fatal,' he said.