Man detained for attack on guards at Taiwan Presidential Office

Witness reports mentioned he flashed a knife

The Presidential Office Building in Taipei.

The Presidential Office Building in Taipei. (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Police detained a man who attacked guards and tried to enter the Presidential Office Building from a back door after pretending to ask for directions Thursday.

Last year, a man attacked guards with a samurai sword stolen from a museum and threatened to kill President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). He was later sentenced to seven years in prison.

Around 11 a.m. Thursday, a man later identified as Lin (林), 53, stopped at the rear of the building, on the corner of Boai Road and Guiyang Street in Taipei City, to ask for directions from the military police guarding the building, the Apple Daily reported.

However, he attacked a female military police officer in an attempt to enter the area, supposedly to see the president.

There were conflicting reports as to whether he had flashed a knife to threaten the guards. According to the Apple Daily, a police office had witnessed such an incident, but a search later on did not turn up any weapons at the scene.

It was not immediately known whether Tsai was inside the building at the time of the incident.

After being overpowered by the guards, Lin was transferred to a nearby police station for questioning.

Over the years, the red brick early 20th-century Presidential Office Building has been the target of several attacks by individuals, some of them trying to ram it with vehicles ranging from cars to trucks, and sometimes expressing dissatisfaction with the country’s economy as their motive.