TAIPEI, Taiwan - A police detective died early Sunday morning after he was assaulted by a violent mob in Xinyi District.
Reports indicate that 38-year-old police detective Hsueh Chen-kuo (薛貞國) had suffered multiple injuries from blunt force trauma after he was violently assaulted by a mob comprising 40 to 50 individuals.
Preliminary findings suggest that Hsueh died from blunt force trauma to his skull.
Hsueh was found languishing in a pool of his own blood on the pavement following the beating, with a unsprung switchblade in his mouth, according to reports. Hsueh died shortly after being rushed to a nearby hospital. Reports later suggested that the unsprung switchblade was placed into Hsueh's mouth by individuals providing first-aid to prevent him from biting his own tongue, and that preliminary examination did not find stab wounds.
According to the police, at 1:12 a.m. Sunday, they were alerted of a brewing large-scale physical altercation between disputing parties at a nightclub in Xinyi District's ATT 4 Fun shopping mall. The police stated that although Sunday was an off-duty day for Hsueh, he had arrived at the scene and attempted to defuse the situation as a mediator. The nearby Sangchangli Precinct (三張犁分局) stated that when they had arrived at the nightclub with ample numbers, the violet mob had dispersed quickly, leaving Hsueh unconscious.
The police said that Hsueh was overwhelmed by the numerically superior violent mob with bats, motorcycle helmets and other weapons for as long as three minutes.
Reports claim that a similar case of violence between nightclub patrons had occurred early in the morning of the previous day, but bystanders did not alert the police. Authorities noted that they are investigating whether the two incidents are related.
Meanwhile, details surrounding the detective's death remain murky, including Hsueh's decision to report to the scene alone and without backup on his off-duty day. Investigators are gathering evidence to determine whether Hsueh had been performing a routine patrol of his precinct, or if he was resolving a dispute as a personal favour to certain individuals or groups.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday stated he has been briefed on the situation, and that the police are focusing on five suspects - four men and one women - who are suspected to have acted as instigators in the slaying of the detective. Hau pledged to have the case solved in two weeks. Two of the suspects were questioned by investigators as of yesterday afternoon, according to police.
'Fixer' of Nightlife Establishments
Reports indicate that Hsueh had been suspected of working as a dispute mediator on behalf of Xinyi District nightlife establishments. Two years ago, Hsueh was accused of convincing a victim of a nightclub beating to settle out of court and avoid filing charges. According to the victim's mother, Hsueh had urged them to settle out of court, as the thugs who had beaten his son were working under the wing of the police detective. Hsueh was issued an administrative reprimand for the incident, but the charge did not stop his involvement with nightclubs, which some say ultimately led to his recent death.
TV reports suggest that Hsueh had insulted certain mob figures in his dealings with the nightclub businesses, who ordered the assault and subsequent killing of the detective.