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March 21, 2011

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Man grabbed female Metro guard by throat

A MAN has been detained for allegedly grabbing a female member of Metro staff by the throat while trying to dodge a security check, police said yesterday.

The 22-year-old Metro security employee, Xu Si, was still in hospital last night, police said.

The suspect, surnamed Zhang, told police he regretted what had happened.

This is the second detention within a week, after a man was detained for five days for bringing a container of gasoline into a Metro station on Monday, the authority said.

Zhang and his girlfriend, both carrying shoulder bags, entered Metro Line 3's Yan'an Road W. Station about 7pm on Friday, police said. Xu asked them to put their bags through scanners, but the pair rushed past the checkpoint and through the barriers.

As Xu tried to stop the couple by holding their clothing, Zhang turned and grabbed her around the neck, police said, after checking surveillance camera footage. The attack lasted about 10 seconds.

Xu, unable to break loose of his grip, fainted, falling to the ground and hitting the back of her head.

Zhang fled the scene, police said, but was detained early yesterday. According to officers, Zhang was not carrying anything illegal.

Zhang said "he was in bad mood" and he did not want to "lose face with his girlfriend beside him." Xu said Zhang shouted abuse at her during the attack.

However, Metro security staff do not receive much sympathy on an online Metro forum, as many commuters seem annoyed by the security checks which they say are "a waste of time."

"Sometimes they don't look at the X-ray machine at all," complained one commuter on the forum. Many said the checks became lax after the World Expo ended last October.

Metro police said half of the senior security staff were replaced after Expo and the new recruits still need training.

Police have seized more than 7,000 banned items, such as gas and chemical goods, this year along 520 checkpoints at subway stations.


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