Two policemen were slightly injured early yesterday recapturing a suspected triad member who escaped from Wan Chai police headquarters when his two friends distracted officers.
The 35-year-old man was caught outside the station in Arsenal Street after a brief chase and his friends were arrested for helping him escape.
The fugitive was one of two suspected triad members, aged about 32 and 35, who were arrested on Monday night on suspicion of blackmailing a shop operator in Wan Chai. He was not handcuffed because he claimed he had injured wrists, police said.
During inquiries, two men aged 30 and 34 claiming to be friends of the pair arrived and the younger suspect was later released on bail.
At about 2am yesterday, the 35-year-old suspect said he wanted to hand his personal belongings to his friends. After being taken to the first-floor report room, he lay on the floor behind the counter, refusing to get up and saying he was ill.
"While waiting for the arrival of an ambulance, his two friends allegedly shouted and took photographs to cause trouble in front of the counter in an apparent move to divert the attention of our officers," an investigator said.
"The suspect suddenly jumped up from the floor and pushed away our officers before jumping over the counter and running out of the report room."
After a 200- to 300-metre pursuit, the fugitive was stopped by pursuing officers under a flyover in Arsenal Street.
Two policemen were treated at Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai for slight injuries.