Man who attacked Taipei restaurant employing HK residents charged with intimidation
Saturday, October 17, 2020
A 25-year-old man suspected of throwing a bucket of chicken excrement at a local diner that offers work opportunities to young Hong Kong people seeking shelter in Taiwan was arrested early Saturday morning, Taiwan police said.
The suspect was apprehended at his residence in Xizhi District, New Taipei City, less than one day after the incident, Taipei police announced in a press conference, CNA reports.
Items such as buckets with fecal matter, and a hat and shoes resembling those worn by the offender were found at the residence, police said.
According to videos from nearby surveillance cameras, an individual dressed in all black approached the Aegis restaurant on foot at noon on Friday and threw what appeared to be chicken feces at the cashier's counter.
A female staff, who is a Hong Kong citizen, was splashed with the disgusting substance during the process, police said.
The Aegis, located in an alley on Taipei's Xinsheng South Road, was opened on April 19 to provide employment, one of the means for foreigners to legally stay in Taiwan, for Hong Kong protesters and others who fled to Taiwan after the 2019 anti-extradition law protests in Hong Kong.
The restaurant was founded by Hong Kong lawyer Daniel Wong Kwok-tung, who offered free legal services to demonstrators arrested by Hong Kong authorities during the pro-democracy movement.
During Saturday's police interrogation, the suspect told investigators that he decided to carry out the attack because he suffered a bad stomachache after dining at the restaurant a day before.
The suspect was charged with intimidation, damage to property and public insults after the interrogation.
Investigators are conducting a deeper probe into the suspect's motive and trying to find out whether there are other people involved in the crime.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan said in a press conference on Saturday that the city government has already instructed the police to increase their visibility around the area.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA) condemned such acts of violence in a statement.
The NPA said that it will increase patrols to provide additional security to the more than 90 restaurants around Taiwan that have expressed support to Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
In April, Lam Wing-kee, a former book seller in Hong Kong, was splashed with red paint by three suspects while having breakfast at a coffee shop in Taipei's Zhongshan District, just days ahead of the opening of his new bookstore in Taipei.
Lam's Hong Kong bookstore, which sold books critical of China's leadership, was closed in 2016 after he was arrested in mainland China. He moved to Taiwan in 2019 for fear of his safety, after Hong Kong's government proposed the extradition law, which would allow certain crime suspects arrested in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China for trial.