China: Around The Nation

Police rescue Chinese girl, 3, after masked man holds her hostage at knifepoint for six hours

Suspect, who reportedly has heavy gambling debts, grabs child inside shop and demands 20,000 yuan ransom as mother pleads for her daughter’s life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 November, 2016, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 November, 2016, 4:46pm

Chinese police rescued a three-year-old girl after a masked man held her hostage at knifepoint for six hours in a store in Tianjin this month, recently released video footage has showed.

The man allegedly pulled out a knife and grabbed the child and then demanded her mother pay him a ransom of 20,000 yuan (HK$22,500) while inside the store in Tianjin’s Beichen district on the evening of November 14, the surveillance camera footage showed.

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The 27-year-old suspect, wearing a baseball cap and a facial mask, is shown in the footage holding the child while threatening her at knifepoint.

The child’s mother then kneels down on the floor while pleading for her daughter’s life.

Police soon arrived at the scene and tried to negotiate with the suspect by claiming to be the girl’s relatives while snipers took up positions inside the store, according to the eight-minute video released by Tianjin law enforcement authorities.

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Six hours later, a team of undercover policemen approached the suspect to hand him a bottle of water and began talking to him to distract him.

As the suspect took hold of the bottle of water a policeman quickly pinned him down on the ground to immobilise him.

The girl was rescued without anyone being injured.

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The suspect, from southern Guangxi province, was reportedly heavily in debt as a result of gambling and had been on the run from his creditors, preliminary inquiries showed.

Police are continuing to investigate the case.

Video below