A man suspected of stabbing two women in the New Territories on Friday was arrested yesterday when he turned up at a hospital where both victims are being treated.
The attack was the second of its kind in two months in the new town of Tin Shui Wai.
The suspect in the latest attack, in which the women were stabbed outside a 14th-floor flat, escaped a police cordon around the block where the crime occurred, despite officers mounting a floor-by-floor search.
But police identified him from closed-circuit television footage, and officers arrested him yesterday shortly after he entered Tuen Mun Hospital.
Last night police said the 30-year-old suspect had been sent to Castle Peak Hospital and would be detained overnight for questioning. The hospital treats patients with mental illness.
The women, aged 58 and 66, were attacked from behind at about 3pm by a man wielding a chopper as they were opening the door of their flat on the Tin Shui Estate. They suffered knife wounds to their heads and limbs.
They screamed for help and one of the women rushed down to the security guard post on the ground floor. The suspect fled the scene by the stairway after neighbours opened the door to see what was happening.
Acting chief inspector Won Mee-yee, of the Yuen Long police, said the suspect lived on the same estate as his victims. Officers were trying to establish a motive for the attack and his relationship with the victims, she said. The two victims said they did not know their attacker.
Won said police deployed as many officers as possible to find the suspect because of limited information and thanked residents for their co-operation during the investigation.
Yesterday the stabbing victims, who are related, were in serious but stable condition.
The suspect was arrested at the hospital, which is about six kilometres from Tin Shui Wai, just before noon.
The earlier knife incident occurred during the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 30, when three holidaymaking youngsters aged between 11 and 18 were slashed by a chopper-wielding attacker.
All were attacked separately along a riverside cycling track adjoining the Tin Heng Estate near Tin Ying Road.
Police have said the young victims did not know each other, nor their attacker.
The suspect in that case was said by witnesses to have been aged about 40.
Last night police were seeking to establish whether the two attacks were linked. However, they said the suspect in the September attack was still believed to be at large.
Police figures show there were 1,128 wounding cases in the first eight months of this year, a 2.8 per cent drop from from the same period last year.