A New Taipei City Court released a man on a NT$300,000 bail today despite the fact he attempted to murder a police officer in a vicious attack with a meat-cleaver.
Wu Zhizhan (吳志展), a 56 year-old teppanyaki cook in Banciao District, lost his temper yesterday, after receiving parking tickets to a value of NT$5400. He saw a police officer, surnamed Zhang, issuing tickets nearby, grabbed a meat cleaver from his truck, and attacked the officer.
The 34 year-old officer carried a baton, but had no time to pull it out and defend himself as Wu bore down on him swinging the cleaver. The officer suffered deep cuts to his arm, shoulder, neck, and chest. Twice, the officer was on the ground while Wu kept swinging the cleaver at him.
Wu fled from the scene but later turned himself into police.
A nearby car dealer used towels to cover Officer Zhang’s wounds while they waited for the ambulance. Zhang was put into intensive care after receiving surgery. He is now out of immediate danger but being kept for observation because of the injuries to his throat.
A group of protesters which included off-duty police officers gathered outside the court and chanted “dignity for police”. A man ran in and attacked Wu as he exited the building. Wu knelt down and offered an apology for his actions. One person called out: “You can’t pay the NT$5400, but you can pay NT$300, 000 bail?” Wu replied: “I borrowed the money from friends, it’s temporary.”
Citizens and police officers have expressed disgust at the decision of the District Court. Legislator Yen Heng Kuan said releasing Wu on NT$300, 000 bail tarnished the dignity of police.
National Police Administration Chief Chen Guo-en (陳國恩) said that on hearing of the bail conditions he immediately went to the prosecutors office to express his dissatisfaction at their decision and to appeal to the judges to support the police. This afternoon he tendered new evidence to the court and received a warrant to arrest and interrogate Wu, and police will request he be detained.
A police officer commenting on Facebook police group Taiwan Pigeon said Taiwan police face a manpower problem, and that officers should not be working on their own. He pointed out that an officer working alone had been attacked on the Taipei Metro in March. The attacker was a mentally ill man whose only motivation was that he hated police.
Coincidentally, the perpetrator of the March attack appeared in court in Shilin District this morning, August 3.