Slain Taiwan police detective kicked suspect: witnesses

TAIPEI, Taiwan - In a new twist to the investigation of the killing of a police detective in Taipei, witnesses said that the deceased detective had kicked one of the suspects before the fatal attack.

According to local news media, several witnesses claimed that Hsueh Chen-kuo (薛貞國), the deceased police detective, kicked Tseng Wei-hao (曾威豪), one of the suspects, upon arrival at the nightclub in Taipei where the fatal attack took place. The testimony came from witnesses including several suspects in the attack, two security guards who are retired police officers and Hsueh's colleague surnamed Chung (莊), and are therefore deemed "highly credible," the United Evening News (UEN) website quoted unnamed police sources as saying.

The UEN reported that after Chung tipped off Hsueh about the gang members gathering in front of the nightclub, Hsueh arrived at the scene and kicked Tseng before identifying himself as a police detective. Further investigation is needed before the police decide if Hsueh's behaviour was inappropriate, the UEN website cited police as saying.

Meanwhile, the police yesterday reiterated their assertion that Hsueh was in no way involved with nightclub businesses or gang-related affairs, rebutting local media speculation on Hsueh's links with the nightclub operators. The police stated that the investigation revealed that Hsueh's appearance at the site was an isolated incident, and that he was not connected with any illegal activities.

The police also issued an arrest warrant for another suspect in the investigation of the fatal attack. Wan Shao-cheng (萬少丞), allegedly a member of the Bamboo Union crime syndicate, was believed to be one of the assailants in the fatal attack on Hsueh.

Tseng, his girlfriend Liu Hsin-tung (劉芯彤) and associate Hsiao Jui-hung (蕭叡鴻), were held in custody after the killing. Twelve other suspects were released on bail. Tseng got into an argument with security guards at a nightclub on Saturday. After Tseng complained to Hsiao about the fight, Hsiao summoned his friends to the nightclub early Sunday.

Local media suggested that Wan was supposed to report to Xinyi Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department with his lawyer at 3 p.m. yesterday. However, the police maintained that they had not heard from any sources confirming this rumour. The police stressed that since the prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Wan, he will be seized the instant he shows up. Reporters waited outside of the police station until 6 p.m., but Wan did not make an appearance.

The police are also looking for Chou Yu-teng (周譽騰), who is allegedly affiliated with the Four Seas Gang, for his involvement in the attack.

In related news, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) vowed to make every Taipei citizen feel safe. Hau directed the police to look into gang-related crimes, including organised crimes and gangsters moonlighting as bodyguards.