Armed fugitive arrested at Taipei Main Station

Armed fugitive arrested at Taipei Main Station
The alleged attacker Cheng Chieh (center) is transferred by policemen at a local police station in New Taipei City.

TAIPEI - A wanted criminal, surnamed Hsiao, possessing a 50-centimeter-long knife, was arrested at Taipei Main Station yesterday by patrolling police officers.

After the metro stabbing spree that took four people's lives and injured 23 people on Wednesday, the Taipei City Government dispatched more officers to patrol around all metro stations.

According to police, Hsiao is currently on the wanted list of the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for offences against public safety, and he was also reported as a missing person by his family members.

While officers were patrolling basement level 2 of Taipei Main Station, they received reports from passengers that Hsiao was carrying a knife, so they confronted the suspect.

According to police, they discovered a 50-centimeter-long knife and a gun, which was later determined to be a toy replica.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah on Wednesday instructed the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to step up security of public transportation in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Signs of Copycat Crime Investigated

A 19-year-old man attempted to visit the assailant in the Taipei Metro stabbing spree, Cheng Chieh, who is in custody, in order to learn how to kill people, the Taipei Detention Center said yesterday.

According to officials of the detention centre, the 19-year-old visited the centre yesterday morning, saying that he would like to see Cheng so he could learn how to kill people. He also said that he wanted to make bombs.

Officials of the detention centre said that the visitor is not a relative of Cheng, so they denied his request to meet Cheng. They also demanded to talk to him about his motivation to meet Cheng.

According to officials, the visitor immediately changed his statement, saying that he just wanted to see what Cheng looks like, and he could not do something like the metro killing spree on his own.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old college student, surnamed Chan, was brought in for questioning yesterday after stating in some texts to his friend that he appreciated Cheng for realizing his dream, and that he will take care of the Tamsui metro line, according to the Tamsui Precinct.

According to police, Chan went to the police station with his mother, and wanted to sue his friend for leaking the messages between them.

A Facebook fan page that supports Cheng was founded after the metro killing spree took place, which attracted over 1,000 people to "Like" it so far.

Psychiatrist Yang Tsung-tsai said that when random killing sprees occurred in other countries in the past, copycat crimes usually came along with them. Therefore, the government should take this matter seriously in order to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

White Flowers Dedicated to Victims

Many people responded to the online event of paying tributes to the victims of the metro killing spree by sending white flowers to Jiangzicui Station yesterday.

There were also many messages left at the metro station, hoping the four deceased victims can rest in peace and that the wounded victims can recover soon.

Meanwhile, families of the four deceased victims strongly opposed the prosecutors and forensic pathologist's decision to conduct autopsies on the victims.

One deceased victim's husband said that he could not accept the idea of doing an autopsy on his late wife since there should be enough evidence to convict the killer.

A prosecutor said that two forensic pathologists already finished the autopsy on the four victims, and the bodies of the victims were returned to their families.

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