Man attacks female Taipei City labor affairs chief with steel bar

Commissioner Lai is out of danger, but suspect escaped

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Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin.

Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin. (By Central News Agency)

The suspect in the attack on the Taipei City labor department chief later posted a picture of a steel bar (photo Lee Ming-yen Facebook page).

The suspect in the attack on the Taipei City labor department chief later posted a picture of a steel bar (photo Lee Ming-yen Facebook page). (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A man entered the office of Taipei City Labor Affairs Department chief Lai Hsiang-lin (賴香伶) and hit her in the face with a steel bar Wednesday.

She was taken to hospital and received 11 stitches in a three-centimeter-long gash near her left eyebrow, while she would need a week to recover, media reports said.

Even though the assailant managed to flee the scene, witnesses recognized him as Lee Ming-yen (李明彥), a self-styled labor activist angry at the city government for using dispatch workers at the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, the Central News Agency reported.

Earlier in the day, he had reportedly already visited Commissioner Lai’s office to ask where she was. At 3:52 p.m., he returned, armed with a steel bar, and immediately attacked her without speaking a word, according to CNA.

He took advantage of the confusion to escape the building, but as many Labor Affairs Department officials knew him, they easily recognized him.

After the fact, he even posted a picture of the steel bar used in the attack on his Facebook page, reports said. He had previously made threats on the same page that he would kill somebody, while he already had a record of violence, CNA reported.

The Taipei City Government said it would take legal action against Lee and investigate how such an incident could be prevented in the future.

Due to the absence of terrorism and a relatively low crime rate, official buildings in Taiwan are not always heavily guarded, commentators said.