New Taipei landlord dies in front of bystanders after tenant stabs him over rent

Landlord in New Taipei bleeds to death in front of bystanders after being stabbed by tenant over his rent

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Surveillance footage of landlord on the ground. (New Taipei Police)

Surveillance footage of landlord on the ground. (New Taipei Police)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Police arrested a man wandering the streets of New Taipei at 11 p.m. last night (Sept. 17) and transferred him to the Prosecutor's Office on suspicion of fatally stabbing his landlord over a dispute about his rent, reports UDN

Yesterday afternoon, a man was seen staggering onto Zhulin Road in New Taipei's Yonghe District with a knife wound to his left chest. He rushed to a nearby supermarket where he fell to the ground bleeding profusely, while several bystanders seemed to be completely oblivious to his plight. 

Finally, one bystander, who initially thought the man was drunk, discovered that he was bleeding and called for an ambulance. Paramedics arrived on the scene, but he succumbed to his wounds within 30 minutes. 

The suspect, a 35-year-old man surnamed Yu (游), who has a record of theft, assault and drug offenses, returned to his rental home from a construction job at 4 p.m. yesterday, only to find that the door had been locked by his 66-year-old landlord surnamed Kuo (郭). Yu had previously been paying the NT$9,000 (US$292) rent for the apartment on a monthly basis, but as his work had become unstable, the landlord had allowed him to pay NT$300 on a day-to-day basis. 

Yu demanded that Kuo unlock the door, however his landlord refused because Yu had not paid the rent for the past two days and said that new tenants had already moved in. Furious, Yu went to a nearby hardware store and purchased a fruit knife, returned to the apartment and threatened Kuo with it. Yu then said, "Do you want to open the door?" 

Kuo refused to unlock the door and Yu then stabbed him in his left chest with the knife. As blood quickly turned his white shirt red, Kuo immediately fled the rental property in a desperate attempt to seek help. 

Kuo ran to a nearby intersection and into a supermarket, where he soon collapsed and died. Meanwhile, Yu fled the scene of the crime on a bicycle. 

After being alerted to the crime, Police set up a special team to check the surveillance cameras in the area and they tracked him as he wandered around the Yonghe and Tucheng districts of New Taipei City. At 11 p.m., police spotted Yu at Zhongzheng Bridge in Yonghe District, the same area where last month's grisly murder and dismemberment took place, and arrested him. 

Police discovered that Yu had hidden the knife beneath a prayer mat in a temple. When asked by police why he had hidden the knife in the temple, he said he wanted to remove evil from it and was afraid Kuo's ghost would come back to haunt him. 

After police finished questioning Yu, they transferred him to the New Taipei City Prosecutor's Office on charges of homicide. As Yu was suspected of committing a serious crime and prosecutors feared he could possibly try to escape, they received permission from the New Taipei District Court to have him detained without bond.