Forty Hong Kong citizens who helped police fight crime were commended at the Good Citizen Awards presentation ceremony on Wednesday.
One of the awardees was Iqbal Zahid, a Pakistani-born businessman who has been living in Hong Kong for 20 years, hk01.com reports.
Zahid was instrumental in stopping a theft in March this year. While riding the MTR, he noticed a man stealing a woman’s wallet from her backpack. She immediately notified the woman and called the police.
The suspect denied trying to steal from the woman and rushed out of the train. But Zahid pursued him and got punched in the face as a result.
The suspect even accused him of being the thief, but Zahid stayed calm and asked that both of them wait for the police.
“If I’m the thief, I’ll go to the police station; if you’re the thief, you go,” Zahid told the suspect. “Let’s both wait for the police here.”
The woman cried when she realized she could have been a crime victim. She said her wallet contained her week’s pay and a precious gold ring. She thanked Zahid for going out of his way to help her and stop the theft. “Today, you are a god,” she told him.
Zahid said he was only doing what he thought was right.
Four other awardees were commended for helping to catch a former Russian soldier who had robbed an exchange shop at the airport.
The incident happened in November last year. The suspect grabbed nearly HK$60,000 from the exchange shop and threatened to harm the female employee at the counter with a knife.
Several passers-by noticed what was happening and gave chase to the suspect, who was already trying to flee. They caught and disarmed him, and restrained him until police officers arrived.
The four awardees were Chan Tsz-hin, Fung Ka-yan, Heung Yuk-tong, and Yip Siu-leung.
Chan, who works in a travel agency, said he didn’t think much about his personal safety as he chased the suspect. He said he only thought he must do everything to prevent the man from escaping.
Heung and his wife Fung, who both work as ground staff at the airport, assessed the situation and realized it was not a terrorist attack. So they joined in catching the suspect with one calling the police and assisting in crowd control and the other searching for a patrolling officer.
Police said the man, who was drunk, was later charged, convicted and sentenced by a judge to five years and four months in jail.
– Contact us at [email protected]