Suspect uses baby as shield

BUKIT MERTAJAM - In an act of cowardice, a 26-year-old suspected drug pusher armed with two parang used his four-month-old baby girl as a hostage to keep policemen at bay.

He threatened to harm her when the police tried to close in on him, and was brandishing the blades close to the child's face and head during the incident at about 9.45am at Kampung Bukit Teh near here yesterday.

The tense situation ended when police sharpshooters wounded the man in the legs, causing him to let go of the baby, who slid to the ground unhurt.

Shot in the left thigh and both ankles, the man has been warded at the Bukit Mertajam district hospital and is in stable condition.

Earlier, a police team went to raid the house where the suspect was staying.

They wanted to arrest him under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1986.

But the man grew desperate when he realised that the police had cordoned off the premises.

That was when he grabbed the two parang and took the baby into his arms. He then ran out of the house, with police calling out to him to surrender and put the child down.

A warning shot was fired by a policeman but the man ignored it and ran about 150m away from the home with the baby.

The policemen trailed him and he attacked them as he tried to escape. The sharpshooters opened fire in response.

Penang CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mazlan Kesah said the suspect was wanted in connection with several cases linked to drug peddling and theft.