Robbery suspect escapes from ward

10:45, January 08, 2010      

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Man was sent for medical help after swallowing nail in detention

Local police in Qinzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, launched a manhunt yesterday for a robbery suspect who ran off from a hospital after injuring himself.

Chen Hongzhou, 31, escaped on Wednesday with shackles on his ankles, sneaking away from a guarded room at a hospital where he was receiving treatment.

He had swallowed a nail while being held in a detention center on the night of Jan 2, and was then sent to hospital.

Qinzhou police yesterday set up about 80 checkpoints at locations Chen could use to flee the city, the local authority said.

Police also made announcements on the radio, the Internet and through mobile phone text messages to encourage the public to offer tips.

"As much as 50,000 yuan ($7,300) will be awarded to anyone providing clues that help us capture the fugitive," Li Wei, a publicity official at the security bureau in Qinzhou, told China Daily yesterday.

In late November last year, Chen was put under criminal detention in the neighboring city of Fangchenggang for allegedly committing robbery with a shotgun at local construction sites.

Last Saturday evening, "Chen seriously hurt himself by swallowing a nail" at the detention center, said a policeman in Fangchenggang who would not reveal his name.

Chen was wounded so badly that the local doctor suggested the man be transferred to the nearby city of Qinzhou for an operation, said the policeman.

Later that day, Chen was sent to the hospital, from which he escaped on Wednesday.

"At present we don't have any more information about the case until we catch him," Tang Chao'an, the publicity officer of the police station in Fangchenggang, said yesterday afternoon.

A 100-day crackdown on crimes kicked off in November in Fangchenggang, a border city adjacent to Vietnam. It will last until the end of this February, local media reported.

The massive crackdown was scheduled to coincide with the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area on Jan 1, the report said.

Source:China Daily
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