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Two new random attacks in Taiwan following gruesome killing of child

2016/03/29 18:26:06

The suspect (center) arrested for the saw attack in New Taipei's Shulin District.

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) Two new random attacks occurred in northern Taiwan Tuesday, following the gruesome killing of a 4-year-old girl in a random attack in Taipei just a day earlier.

New Taipei police received a report at about 1 p.m. Tuesday that an environmental services worker had been attacked by a stranger armed with a saw as he was cleaning and disinfecting the environment in the city's Shulin District.

The 48-year-old worker suffered a 5-centimeter laceration to his left wrist and was rushed to Far Eastern Memorial Hospital for emergency treatment, the police said. The man said he did not know the attacker, the police added.

No one else was injured in the attack.

The attacker, a 23-year-old man identified only by his surname Yu, has been arrested. Yu, who works as a decorator, claimed that the attack on the cleaning worker was to "protect cockroaches," according to a preliminary police investigation.

Further investigation will be needed to find out any further motive behind the attack, police said.

A separate attack also occurred in Taipei, in which a police officer with the Taipei Metro system was injured in a knife attack. The perpetrator was subdued at the scene and taken into police custody, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. said.

In the incident that occurred at about 12:20 p.m. at Taipei Metro Xinbeitou Station, the officer suffered wounds to his head and back and was taken to Taipei Veterans General Hospital for treatment, authorities said. His injuries were not life-threatening, they said.

No one else was injured in the incident and Taipei Metro operations were not affected, the company said.

When questioned by the police, the unemployed 28-year-old suspect surnamed Chan, who did not have a criminal record, said only that he "hates cops."

Commenting on the two new random attacks following the decapitation of the 4-year-old, psychiatrist Hsu Cheng-dien (許正典) said that they could be the results of "a temporary copycat effect" resulting from the killing of the girl.

The widespread media coverage of the murder of the girl might have resulted in more similar crimes through imitation, said Hsu, a doctor at Taiwan Adventist Hospital.

He urged the media to reduce the use of bloody, violent and other sensational visual images in their reporting.

The two attacks followed the shocking incident the previous day in which the girl -- who was riding a strider bike -- was on her way with her mother to Xihu metro station in Neihu District to meet family members for lunch, when an attacker grabbed the child from behind and beheaded her with a cleaver.

(By Wang Hung-kuo, Chang Min-hsuan and Elaine Hou)
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