TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A New Taipei City firefighter was attacked by New Year’s Eve revelers when he was trying to stop them from illegally setting off fireworks on Sunday night. The attackers were arrested and the people who violated the Firework and Firecracker Management Act will be fined at least NT$300,000.
New Taipei City Fire Department said on Monday it dispatched eight personnel in four teams to the area around Taipei Metro’s Tamsui Station to enforce the ban on setting off fireworks illegally.
Near midnight, the firefighters found some revelers were going to set off fireworks and therefore went to confront them in an attempt to stop them from illegally setting off the fireworks. Then the alleged attack and clamor took place, the fire department said.
The fire department said a firefighter surnamed Chung (鍾) intervened to stop the people from igniting the fireworks but was yelled at by 10 people, four of whom even physically attacked him, causing him injuries. Another firefighter enforcing the ban called police for help.
Police arrived on the scene after midnight and arrested the four who took part in the physical fighting and referred them to prosecutors on charges of assault causing bodily harm, the department said. They added that the other six who were shouting and yelling in the incident were also referred on charges of interference with public order and interference with public functions, the department said.
Some of the fireworks the people were ready to fire off were professional aerial fireworks that require filing a report with the local authorities. Therefore the owners of the fireworks will be issued tickets or a fine between NT$300,000 and NT$1.5 million for violating the Firework and Firecracker Management Act, the fire department said.
The department reminded the public that they should set off fireworks with approval labels at permitted locations recognized by the fire department, and should not set them off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., urging the public not to challenge the law.