Police arrest suspect in Taipei City Hall arson case

Police arrest suspect in Taipei City Hall arson case

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Taipei City Hall arson case drew to a close yesterday, as the Taipei City Police brought in a suspect with supposed mental disorders.

The police were able to identify the suspect - a man surnamed Lin with previous convictions of drug possession - via DNA evidence. The evidence was found on a stone at the crime scene, according to the Xinyi Precinct of Taipei City Police Department.

During interrogation at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, Lin claimed he committed the crime due to "disappointment with the society," and said he could not find anyone to share his thoughts with, so he had to resort toarson.

According to his mother, Lin has been diagnosed with mental disorders. Police who were stationed and hiding near Lin's house in the Daan District attested to this, having heard Lin shouting from within the house. Upon arresting Lin, the police further found amphetamine paraphernalia in his room as well.

However, the status of Lin's mental health will be determined after further investigations.

Tu Kuo-ching, deputy police chief of the Xinyi Precinct, said that the surveillance footage showed a black-shirted Lin setting fire to a room by breaking the ground-floor window with a rock, then splashing and lighting up gasoline through the broken window.

The damaged room in question is a cubicle owned by Hung Der-haur, section head for user permits in the Construction Management Office, whose boxes of papers were set on fire. Further damage was avoided through the automatic sprinkler system.

The arson occurred on July 6 at 3:57 a.m.

Taipei City Police Awarded: Ko

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je awarded the Xinyi Precinct bonuses for cracking the two recent cases - a chef "accidentally" stabbing a 15-year-old boy in the MRT concourse of Taipei Main Station and the Taipei City Hall arson case - in the most efficient and timely manner possible.

The arson case was solved in 30 hours, said Ko.

On the other hand, Ko amended that the government will continue to work on setting up better counseling and surveillance systems for mentally ill citizens, as they could "become potential threats" to the safety of society.

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