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Car rammed into president's residence to draw attention to cause

2014/11/04 13:35:59

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) The man who deliberately rammed his car against a gate of President Ma Ying-jeou's official residence early Tuesday was attempting to call the public's attention to problems in Taiwan's medical system, according to an investigation by police.

Identified as 60-year-old New Taipei resident Chen Ping-sung, a former chief executive of a biomedical foundation based in Pingtung County, the man was described by police as appearing normal mentally.

They said he committed the act mainly to get media exposure for his concerns over the country's medical system.

[The vehicle used in the incident. CNA photo Nov. 4, 2014]

In a Facebook post in September, Chen identified "nine medical malpractices caused by bureaucratic medicine" that he said had cost many Taiwanese patients their lives.

Chen wrote that he had been unable to get his voice heard by government officials or the media, despite petitioning to various agencies and buying advertisements on the front pages of major newspapers to discuss the problems.

He said his decision to "confront the bureaucracy" was made after long and thoughtful contemplation, hoping only that government agencies and the media could hear such a "feeble voice."

In the incident that occurred shortly after 7 a.m., Chen crashed his sedan into gate No. 3 of Ma's official residence with a can of red paint hung to the vehicle's front bumper.

The car was stopped after one of its front tires was pierced by spikes deployed in front of the gate. The can of paint burst open and splashed paint at the scene but no one was injured.

Chen was arrested and taken to a nearby police station for questioning.

[The gate Chen rammed into. CNA photo Nov. 4, 2014]

Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo said the president was very safe inside the building and was informed of the incident immediately.

She denied earlier reports that the president was jogging at the time of the incident.

The incident was reminiscent of a similar one occurring on Jan. 25, in which a man ran his 35-ton truck past barriers and up the front steps of the Presidential Office building located just several hundred meters away from the president's residence.

The vehicle was stopped when a quick-thinking guard deployed a bulletproof gate.

The driver, 41-year-old Chang Teh-cheng, was allegedly trying to vent grievances with Taiwan's judicial system. He was indicted in March on charges of attempted murder and four less serious offenses.

(By Liu Chien-pang, Lin Chung-sen, Kelven Huang and Y.F. Low)

Related stories:
●Nov. 4: Man who rammed his car into president's residence released on bail
●Nov. 4: Violence condemned after security scare at presidential residence
●Nov. 4: President safe after man crashes car outside official residence

[Locations of the Presidential Office (up) and the presidential residence]