A 19-year-old woman was molested in Tin Shui Wai yesterday by a masked man who covered her mouth with a tissue that may have been soaked in chemicals.
Police later arrested a 23-year-old man, believed to be a neighbour of the woman, on suspicion of indecent assault. A bottle of medical alcohol, surgical masks and tissues were found in his flat.
The victim told police the tissue emitted a strong odour but she was able to struggle free because the attacker did not cover her nose and mouth firmly.
After examining closed-circuit television footage, detectives were following a theory that the attacker may have been familiar with the woman's daily routine. She was attacked as she returned home to Yuet Tai House in Tin Yuet Estate on Tin Wah Road at her usual time of about 2am.
"Shortly after she walked out of a lift, she was attacked from behind by a man who covered her mouth and nose with a tissue and molested her," a police source said. After struggling free, the 19-year-old shouted for help and her attacker fled.
She then ran into her home and called police. She suffered scratches to her hands and was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment. No tissues were found at the scene.
The assailant is described as Cantonese-speaking, 1.75 metres tall and of medium build, aged 20 to 30, with short hair. He was wearing a black shirt with long sleeves. Police said he used a blue surgical mask to hide his face.
Detectives from the Yuen Long district crime squad are investigating. Police appealed for witnesses and anyone with information to contact officers on 3661 4643 or 6148 1618.
Last Tuesday, two girls aged 14 and 17 were threatened by a man with a box cutter and indecently assaulted in Hing Wah Estate, Chai Wan, in separate incidents that happened over a period of nine hours. So far, no one has been arrested. Police are investigating whether the two teenagers were attacked by the same man.