A 41-year-old man jailed for breaching a coronavirus quarantine order was pepper-sprayed and subdued when he allegedly assaulted a prison officer in Hong Kong, the Correctional Services Department said on Friday.
The incident happened in Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre at 6.41pm on Thursday.
The alleged attacker, identified by a law enforcement source as Wong Yee-keung, was among three men who were jailed on Monday for flouting quarantine rules, in Hong Kong’s first such convictions.
“[The] man in custody suddenly became emotional and attacked a correctional services officer with his hand inside the reception office,” the department said in a statement, without revealing his identity.
“Officers at the scene immediately stopped him. OC foam [also known as pepper spray] was used to subdue him after warnings were given in vain.”
The male officer suffered injuries to his face. After examination and treatment by the centre’s medical officer, he was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for further treatment.
Wong did not suffer any injuries.
A police spokeswoman said the case was classified as assault and officers from Cheung Sha Wan Police Station were investigating.
Wong was jailed for six weeks for trying to leave Hong Kong for mainland China while he was under 14-day home quarantine.
He was accused of breaching his quarantine order, effective from February 10 to 23, after officers intercepted him at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge on February 13.
Among those jailed for flouting quarantine orders, the longest term was handed to a homeless 31-year-old man for evading mandatory self-isolation by falsifying a home address.
The third man – Xie Xong-yue – was jailed for 10 days after he pleaded guilty to one summons over contravening restrictions during quarantine, for leaving his isolation site without reasonable excuse or permission.
The court heard Xie, 37, was issued a 14-day quarantine order after his entry from the mainland at Shenzhen Bay Control Point on February 8. But immigration officers found him at the same port four days later on February 12 and intercepted him.
A government press release, issued on the same day, said it welcomed the court’s judgment, while reiterating it would not tolerate any violation of the isolation rules.