TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A foreign English teacher who was seen in a Taipei MRT station swearing at a Taiwanese man and making an obscene gesture has released a video apologizing for his actions.
In a video released on UDN at 10:46 yesterday evening (May 8), the man, identified only by his first name of "Brian," issued a contrite apology for all of his actions which took place in an Taipei MRT station on May 5. During the video, he apologizes for kicking an elderly woman's suitcase and cursing at her, he then apologizes for using profanity that was directed at Taiwanese and Chinese people, and lastly, he apologizes to the Taiwanese man he swore at and made an obscene gesture towards, and pledges that he will never repeat these actions again.
The Taiwanese man he had insulted, a 44-year-old man surnamed Huang, asked that he tape the apology in exchange for dropping his charges for hurling public insults. Huang also requested that Brian wear and hat and mask while shooting the video to disguise his identity out of concern for the foreign national's safety.
The English transcript of his apology can be seen below:
"I would like to take this time to give an apology. First I would like to apologize to the lady that I yelled out and kicked her bag that was wrong of me. Second I would like to apologize to all the Taiwanese and Chinese friends of mine what I said was wrong and hurtful, I have many friends in this country and I hurt them as well. Thirdly I would like to apologize to Mr. Huang it was wrong of me to give you the hand gesture that I did, I apologize for that Lastly I would like to apologize to everybody for my actions and let everybody know got this won’t happen again , thank you for teaching me lesson Mr Huang , like I said this won’t ever happen again."
On May 5 at around 5 p.m., Huang witnessed Brian kick the suitcase of a woman in her 60s that was in his path at the bottom of an escalator at the Ximen MRT station. Huang says that Brian then cursed the woman in English.
Huang says that he then asked the man to apologize, but Brian responded by saying "It's none of your business." When Huang asked him again, Brian said "F**k you Chinese," and as he waited behind a large crowd of people to get on the next escalator down, he shouted "F**k all you Chinese" and thrust his middle finger at Huang.
Huang (left), Brian (right). (Photo from 我們是新店人!! 好山好水，就是愛新店 Facebook group)
Huang then posted his encounter with the foreign national on a Facebook group about New Taipei City's Xindian District (我們是新店人!! 好山好水，就是愛新店) and a user surnamed Yeh (葉) posted images of Brian making the insulting gesture at Huang. Video of the incident soon emerged as well.
It was later found that Brian is an English teacher currently living in Taiwan, according to Apple Daily. On Sunday (May 6), Huang went to the Ximen MRT Police Department to press charges for public insulting.
After viewing surveillance video of the incident, police were able to identify him, locate his whereabouts and then requested he come in for questioning. As Brian neared the police station, he declined to make a comment on the incident to reporters awaiting his arrival.
Brian continues gesture as he heads down escalator. (Photo from 我們是新店人!! 好山好水，就是愛新店)
Once at the station, Brian expressed to police his willingness to reconcile with Huang, but Huang insisted on pressing charges because "The dignity of the Taiwanese people should not be trampled upon," and that "He lied about his actions that day. I don't think he is sincere about reconciling." Huang also added, "This English teacher who is so unfriendly to Taiwanese people comes to Taiwan to teach our children English, I am very worried."
It is fortunate that in the end Huang agreed to drop the charges against Brian as a prosecutor told the media in February of this year that the penalty for violating Article 309 of Taiwan's criminal code can be as high as 59 days in jail or a fine of up to NT$9,000 (US$300).
Article 309 of Taiwan's Criminal Code states:
"A person who publicly insults another shall be sentenced to short-term imprisonment or a fine of not more than three hundred yuan.
A person who by violence commits an offense specified in the preceding paragraph shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year, short-term imprisonment, or a fine of not more than five hundred yuan."