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Hong Kong police

Hong Kong teenager falls to his death after stand-off with police at Choi Ying Estate in Kowloon Bay

Boy, 16, plummets from window ledge after police arrived at his flat to serve an arrest warrant for violating probation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 9:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 9:55pm

A 16-year-old Hong Kong boy who had violated probation fell to his death from his 35th-floor flat after a nearly three-hour stand-off with first responders on Wednesday.

The teenager and his mother were at home in their Ying Shun House flat in Choi Ying Estate, Kowloon Bay, at about 11am when officers with an arrest warrant arrived.

The teenager and his mother cooperated with police when they showed up, letting the officers enter the flat, a police source said.

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“Soon after officers entered the flat, he climbed out of the window from a bedroom, sat on the window ledge and refused to return to the building,” the source said.

The officers called for back up and five fire engines, along with an ambulance, arrived at the public housing estate. An air cushion was inflated on the ground while firefighters equipped with climbing gear were on standby in a flat on the 37th floor.

Firefighters tried to talk the boy down before police negotiators arrived. During the stand-off, the teenager was seen sitting on the ledge and leaning against a wall.

At about 1.45pm, the boy was talked down and willing to return to the flat, according to another law enforcement source.

“He was asked not to move, waiting for firefighters to help him. As firefighters were about to scale down from the 37th-floor flat to help him, he suddenly moved and fell off the building,” the source said.

A Fire Services Department spokesman said firefighters “approached the boy only after a police negotiator confirmed the boy had agreed to be assisted by firefighters”.

The teenager landed beside the air cushion. He was taken unconscious to United Christian Hospital, where he was declared dead.

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The police source said officers were investigating whether the boy jumped down or accidentally fell.

The boy had been given 18 months’ probation stemming from an assault case last year.

He failed to appear at Eastern Court last month, which lead to the arrest warrant.

People who are distressed or in need of support can contact the Samaritan Befrienders’ 24-hour hotline on 2389 2222; the Suicide Prevention Services on 2382 0000; or the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care on 2868 1211. A hotline for those who have lost a loved one to suicide is available at 2382 2737.