TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Video and photos from social media have surfaced showing an off-duty officer and passengers wrestling with a deranged woman who was threatening passengers with a knife yesterday evening (Aug. 29) at the Longshan Temple MRT station.
At 7:28 p.m. last night, a 56-year-old woman surnamed Lee (李) suddenly pulled out a 21 cm serrated fruit knife while riding the MRT's Blue Line. According to an account by a witness on the popular online forum PTT, when a couple sitting next to her noticed the knife, they cautiously asked her, "What are you doing with the knife?"
The woman then started to shout at the couple and menace them with the knife. When the train arrived at Longshan Temple Station, the couple shouted that she had a knife as they fled from the MRT car, leading to panicked throngs pouring out of the train.
Yang disarming woman as civilian assists. (PTT image)
Some passengers used umbrellas and fire extinguishers to try to fend off the woman, leading to more chaos as the white smoke from the extinguishers billowed throughout the station.
Security guards dragged the woman from the cloud of smoke on the train and onto the platform. Then, several civilians with backpacks joined a policeman surnamed Yang (楊), who happened to be returning home from work, in disarming the woman and then forcing her to the ground.
Yang and civilian pin woman's arm down as they disarm her. (PTT image)
Thus far, Yang (楊) is the only person believed to have been injured in the incident, the Apple Daily reported. Footage showed him with a 3 cm gash in his right knee being pushed away in a wheelchair on his way to hospital.
Lee was being questioned at the Guilin Precinct Station in Taipei's Wanhua District. She was reportedly shouting she wanted to go home, and was generally believed to be mentally disturbed, the Apple Daily reported.
Officer and passengers pinning down woman. (PTT image)
The Taipei Metro Corporation said that passengers alerted authorities via the intercom and the MRT operation control center immediately initiated its standard operating procedure and called the police at 110. MRT staff then helped evacuate 800 passengers and the entire incident took two hours to resolve.
Lee has been transferred to the Prosecutor's Office on charges of public intimidation.
Officer, MRT staff and volunteers pinning down woman. (PTT image)
Security guard holding knife. (PTT image)
Another angle of the incident. (Photo from Breaking News Commune)
Knife woman was wielding. (CNA image)
Yang recovering after sustaining laceration to right knee. (CNA image)