Suspected rapist slips police in toilet escape

Updated: 2011-09-30 08:12

By Wang Qian and Guo Rui (China Daily)

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Suspected rapist slips police in toilet escape
Kang Jianlin was on run for 17 years before he was seized on Sept 18. 

WUHAN - A fugitive caught after being on the run for 17 years has once again escaped the police's clutches, this time through a bathroom window.

Kang Jianlin fled on Tuesday as he was being escorted from Guangdong province to Henan province to face charges of rape.

The 46-year-old had been eating lunch with four police officers at a restaurant in Wuhan, Hubei province, when he asked for his handcuffs to be removed and to use the toilet.

After 10 minutes, an officer posted outside a second-floor bathroom looked in and discovered Kang had escaped through a window. He was seen running into a community in Donghu district.

Police officers have made great efforts to find the suspect, but no clues have so far been detected, said Pan Feng, publicity director for Wuhan public security bureau.

Although there are almost 10 surveillance cameras installed in the community, not one captured the suspect running away, Wuhan Evening Post reported, citing a security guard surnamed Shu as its source.

Authorities distributed Kang's photo and a description of what he was wearing to the public on Wednesday.

The suspect was described as being 1.68 meters tall, having short-cropped hair and wearing a white T-shirt and gray cropped trousers. He was barefoot at the time of his escape. Residents have been urged to call the 110 emergency hotline if they see him.

A warrant for Kang's arrest was issued 17 years ago by the Tanghe county public security bureau in Henan province following allegations he committed statutory rape.

Kang evaded detection for almost two decades by working as a casual laborer in Guangdong and as a painter at a toy factory.

He was eventually detained in the city of Shantou on Sept 18 and was due to face trial in Tanghe.

To guarantee the safety of residents, patrols in the community around where Kang escaped have been stepped up, said authorities.

Police added that they believe Kang will not be able to get far because he has no money or identification.