Taiwan police arrest suspect in attack on labor official at MRT station

Man put pictures of steel bar and selfie from arrest online

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Suspect in steel-bar attack arrested at Xinpu MRT Station Thursday afternoon (photo from Facebook).

Suspect in steel-bar attack arrested at Xinpu MRT Station Thursday afternoon (photo from Facebook).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Police on Thursday arrested the suspect in the steel-bar attack on Taipei City’s labor chief at Xinpu Mass Rapid Transit station in New Taipei City.

On Wednesday afternoon, a man named by witnesses as Lee Ming-yen (李明彥) entered the office of Labor Affairs Department Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin (賴香伶) and hit her in the face with a steel bar. She needed 11 stitches in a three-centimeter-long gash near her left eyebrow but let the public know she was recovering, according to media reports.

Lee, 41, succeeded in escaping from the Taipei City Government building and announced online he was planning to hold a news conference on Friday. He had been known by labor officials due to his repeated protests against the use of dispatch workers at the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

After having targeted Lee’s phone and Internet usage, police located him at the Xinpu MRT station in the Banqiao District and arrested him at 2:40 p.m., the Central News Agency reported.

He still managed to post a selfie of his arrest inside the station online before he was taken away for questioning, reports said. Facing hordes of reporters on his way into the police station, he shouted protests against the city government.

According to police data, he had been located several times over the past 24 hours, once near the Songshan railway station and once in the Beitou District. Lee had also found time to have his long hair cut short to make him less recognizable, reports said.