Cop-stab suspect nabbed in Cathay escape drama

Top News | Sophie Hui 3 Jul 2020

A 24-year-old civil engineer who allegedly stabbed a police officer during the July 1 anti-national security law rally was grabbed on board a Cathay Pacific plane about to take off for London.

And the arrest followed a mystery tip-off.

An anonymous call was made to the Airport District police at 11.43pm - 12 minutes before the Cathay flight for London was to take off.

The tip-off about a wanted person being on the flight is rumored to have been made by a relative of the suspect, who is named Wong and an alumnus of the University of Hong Kong.

The call to police also came after the 803 Fund offered a reward of HK$500,000 for information on the attacker.

The fund was created by former chief executive Leung Chun-ying. It offers cash rewards for tip-offs about illegal acts at protests and now for people who violate the national security law.

Airport police officers quickly determined there was only one Cathay Pacific flight going to London, CX251, which was scheduled to depart at 11.55pm.

Wong was said to have bought the plane ticket at around 6pm on July 1 - the only person to have bought one that day.

He did not have any check-in baggage - but brought with him an expired BNO passport.

"He had boarded and the plane had pulled away from the gate when officers arrived there," a source recounted.

In fact, the crew of the plane were preparing for takeoff when instructed to return to the terminal.

Wong was arrested for wounding causing actual bodily harm. He faces up to life imprisonment if convicted.

He allegedly struck at about 4pm on Wednesday as officers were making arrests on Causeway Road near Hing Fat Street in Causeway Bay. A TV video shows a riot control officer trying to subdue a struggling man as several others protesters tried to pull him away.

Then a man wearing a dark T-shirt and a black cap stabbed the officer in the left shoulder with a small knife. He ran off immediately while the officer was left bleeding from a wound.

Police said rioters had in fact attacked the officer with sharp objects and umbrellas and their bare hands.

The officer was sent to Ruttonjee Hospital and then transferred to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.

Other details of the airport action were also being revealed yesterday. Officers of the Commercial Crime Bureau had held the alleged knifeman at the airport early yesterday.

And it was found the suspect used an SAR passport to go through immigration.

Plainclothes officers who boarded the plane had not found Wong in his seat, and the crew who called his name did not get any response.

But officers located Wong in a sweep through the plane. They had a description of the attacker including facial features and hair, and the suspect they located also had abrasion on his right hand.

Wong also appeared nervous and refused to answer questions posed by police.

According to the airport the departure of the Cathay flight was delayed for about an hour.

The injured officer, who belongs to the Kowloon East police tactical unit, was said to be in stable condition in hospital last night and was sending messages.

A first message from the injured officer was on Weibo on Wednesday and read: "Sorry, I was injured and let people down."

Then came a message on Weibo yesterday saying caring messages from people were appreciated. He said his condition has improved but his arm hurt. But he did not regret pursuing rioters.

"Despite my being injured, 30,000 police officers will arrest all the rioters for me, for Hong Kong and for the country," he wrote.

About 370 people were arrested during the handover anniversary rally, which attracted about 10,000 people despite a ban and with the national security law already in effect.

Editorial: Page 8

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