At about 1pm on Sunday, police received a report that the suspect kicked a 67-year-old female on Carpenter Road near Nam Kok Road, and snatched her mobile phone.

A 60-year-old male passerby tried to stop the suspect, who then hit him with a mobile phone. The suspect threw the mobile phone and fled toward Nga Tsin Wai Road.

The female victim chased him but the suspect turned and attacked her with his hands. The injured woman fell on the ground.

The shirtless suspect continued to flee and snatched a 30-centimeter knife on a cutting board at a nearby butcher shop on Nga Tsin Wai Road, a CCTV clip at the shop showed. Shocked and frightened staff and pedestrians ran inside the butcher shop to hide.

The man ran 600 meters and stopped at the junction of Nga Tsin Wai Road and Hau Wong Road, where he cracked the windshield of a black BMW car with the knife handle.

A 27-year-old driver got out of his BMW and argued with the suspect, who then punched him. The two struggled, a dashboard camera video from a vehicle behind the BMW showed.

The suspect fled to an old building on Prince Edward Road West, where he set fire to shoes and umbrellas outside a unit on the fifth floor, using alcohol hand rub and a lighter.

He then went to a hostel renting out rooms on the second floor where he attacked a 69-year-old cleaning staff member with a rubbish bin.

The suspect then hid in another room. It was understood the suspect was trying to burn a bed sheet while hiding in the hostel room.

At about 2.30pm, officers of the Kowloon West emergency unit arrested him for wounding and arson. The case has been classified as robbery, theft, criminal damage, wounding and arson. It is being investigated by Kowloon City district crime squad.

Police have asked witnesses to call 3661-7855. The suspect was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, chief inspector Yan Hon-yeung of Kowloon City police district said the four victims in the case did not have life-threatening injuries and three of them were sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

Yan also said officers are still investigating the suspect's motive but initial investigation showed that the suspect "did not attack people using a knife," although he used the knife to damage the private car.

Yan also said the suspect came to Hong Kong to visit his relatives in September last year with a two-way permit, and he can stay in the SAR until April.

"Based on our initial investigation, we believe that it was a robbery at the beginning and the suspect did not plan the attacks afterwards."

Last Tuesday, a 49-year-old man, believed to have a history of mental illness, was arrested after he allegedly chopped his wife and two children with a knife at their Fan Ling home.

In October last year, police were on alert after a man was spotted wielding two knives in Tsuen Wan in broad daylight.