A 24-year-old man was arrested in the New Territories following a violent indecent assault on a teenage girl who he met through an online platform.
According to reports, the arrested was a delivery worker who lives at a public housing unit at the Wo Che Estate in Shatin.
On Thursday, the young man, who bears the surname Yuen, tried to force himself upon a 15-year-old girl who visited his apartment, causing her injuries.
The schoolgirl was threatened with a knife when she fought off Yuen, and was held captive for a while before she finally managed to escape, news website HK01.com reports.
The assault took place after the girl went to Yuen’s apartment at about 10am to meet up with him for the first time after establishing contact through the internet.
Rather than talk, the young man apparently had other plans for the online acquaintance. He began attempting to molest her, prompting the teenage girl to cry out in shock.
As she tried to fend off Yuen, the man pulled a knife and warned her to keep quiet.
There was some jostling between the two, and when the girl tried to leave the flat Yuen sought to prevent her from doing so.
It was only after a long struggle that the teen managed to free herself from Yuen and get out of the apartment.
She ran out of the building and, with the help of a passer-by, alerted the police about the incident.
Police arrived at the scene and arrested Yuen about three hours after the attack.
Following a search of the premises, officers found the knife that was used by Yuen to threaten his victim, who has suffered some cuts on her face and arms and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
After taking Yuen into custody, the police classified the case as one of indecent assault and false imprisonment.
According to the police, Yuen had a previous criminal record — of theft.
Following the Thursday incident, Szeto Hon-ming, director of the Family and Career Development Service of Hong Kong, warned people to be careful with online acquaintances.
While meeting people online has become popular amongst teens, one should bear in mind that there could be sexual predators looking for prey online, Szeto said.
Rather than depend on online platforms, teenagers should try to meet up people and make new friends via traditional methods such as school, volunteering or church events, he said.
Chan Man-ho, supervisor of the Youth Crime Prevention Centre of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, says a lot of information online could be false, with people not revealing their true identities and motives.
Teenagers should talk to parents, friends or teachers when they feel unhappy or even seek help from social workers when necessary, Chan said.
Young women must be careful in accepting “friend requests” online, he said, adding that if one wants to meet up with such acquaintances it should be done only under the accompaniment of another person or an adult.
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