Driver: I had a bad feeling about the stranger at the flats
KOTA KINABALU: For driver Arwan Hatta, the sight of a stranger walking around his densely populated flats at Taman Telipok Ria drew immediate concerns.
The 41-year-old said he first saw the hostage-taker as he walked back to his flat on the fourth floor after zohor prayers yesterday.
He had a bad feeling about the intention of the man who was unknown to residents in his block.
“As I arrived near my flat, I saw my friends playing dominoes and one of them asked me to take over his game. As I joined the others to play, the man suddenly appeared on our floor carrying a knife.
“He looked at me. We stopped playing. I knew he had some other intentions,” said Arwan as he recollected the events that led to the fivehour hostage drama.
“He (the suspect) kept looking at me and I stared back at him. I was apprehensive, but I think if he was not holding a knife, I might have confronted him.
“But the man just entered one of the units where an elderly neighbour was praying.
“I shouted to my neighbour that someone had entered his house but the man told the neighbour he wanted to sit in the house and asked him to close his room door.
“The man came out of the house and walked about five metres in the corridor and picked up the child who was playing with toys.
“He just picked up the child and placed the knife on the child’s neck before returning to the flat and locking the door.
“I started to shout pencuri, pencuri (thief, thief ). Other neighbours came, we broke down the door.
“The child never cried even after she was cut. He was just holding her,” he said.
“We were trying to ask him to release the child but he was very threatening,” Arwan said.
Police did not release the name of the child who was rushed to the Likas Women and Children’s Hospital here.
The child’s condition is said to be stable.