KOTA KINABALU: Arwan Hatta was playing dominoes with some friends when he saw an unidentified man approaching the fourth floor flat where he later held a two-year-old girl hostage at knife point.
The 41-year-old driver said he became concerned as the man who was acting suspiciously was armed with a ‘bugis’ knife.
“I had just finished zohor prayers and came to play dominoes with some friends here on the fourth floor. I saw the man approaching the area where we were and telling everyone to stop playing. I was also ready to retaliate if the man attacked me,” said Arwan, who had lived in the residential area for nine years.
However, the suspect went into a flat there and Arwan said he immediately called out to the owner to warn him about the suspect’s presence.
The suspect, he said, told the occupant(s) of the flat to close the door on the pretext of wanting to rest there, said Arwan, adding that the suspect came out a while later, and that was when he picked up the girl who was playing outside and took her back into the flat.
“At that juncture, I raised the alarm of a child abduction and our neighbours responded. We kicked down the door of the flat in a bid to rescue the child,” he said.
“But then, the suspect was in the toilet while spurting water over the girl, and at the same time threatening us and telling us not to get near the child,” he said.
Arwan added that the child was calm throughout the ordeal. The mother of the child then called the police for help.
Meanwhile, Jemati Maidun, 47, who lives nearby, said she was about to go to the hospital for a routine check-up but rushed to the scene instead, when she learned of the incident.
She said that she was more concerned about the fate of the child upon finding out that the girl had injuries on her neck.
Nordiya Laila, 15, was just as shocked that such an incident had occurred in the area.
“I was surprised when I heard that a child had been kidnapped in the area where we live,” she said.