Mental patient held over knife attacks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 November, 2009, 12:00am

A mental patient has been arrested for injuring three elderly neighbours with a 45cm-long knife in a public housing block in Kowloon Bay.

The 27-year-old man, who had refused to take medication over the past three days, was annoyed at his neighbours for slamming their doors on the 16th floor of Kai Yue House, Kai Yip Estate, at about 8.30am, yesterday. He ran into the hall and shouted at them before returning to the flat for the knife, police said. He re-emerged and began the attacks.

'A 73-year-old neighbour was attacked from behind when he was returning to his flat,' a policeman said. 'The elderly man was chopped three to four times in the back of his head.'

The elderly man ran to the 17th floor to seek help, and a female neighbour, 85, heard his cries.

'She opened the wooden door to check,' the officer said. 'As the security gate remained closed, the attacker hit the gate with the knife and injured her. She suffered a five-inch-long [13cm] wound to her right arm.'

The third victim was a woman, 73. Police said the man attacked her as she walked past. She suffered minor wound to her right arm.

The suspect was arrested at the scene when police arrived. Officers also seized the knife. The 73-year-olds were treated at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong, where the man was in stable condition and the woman was discharged. The 85-year-old was bandaged at the scene.

'Investigation shows that the attacker is a mental patient,' another officer said. 'His father told us that he refused to take medication in the past few days.'

The suspect was being held for questioning by police in Sau Mau Ping and no charge had been laid.

This year there have been seven incidents in which mentally ill or people suspected of being mentally ill killed nine people, including a 2?-year-old girl and three-year-old boy.

On September 22, a mentally ill man was arrested for killing his former wife with a fruit knife at a Light Rail station, and on June 25 a former mental patient was arrested in Tung Chung after his neighbour was killed at her home in Tai O.