Man murdered in S. Taiwan over car crash that occurred 18 years ago

The victim was stabbed in front of his family by former friend over debt of US$3,800 owed for a crashed rental car

Paramedics on the scene (Photo from Kaohsiung Police Dept.)

Paramedics on the scene (Photo from Kaohsiung Police Dept.)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A 38 year old Kaohsiung man, surnamed Chen (陳), was murdered on Friday morning, Feb. 22, outside of his home in the city’s Fengshan District, by a former friend, surnamed Lin (林), also 38.

Lin unexpectedly confronted Chen, in front of his wife and child, over a financial debt of NT$120,000 (US$3,800) related to a car accident that occurred 18 years ago.

After arguing over the money, Lin pulled out a 45 cm knife and stabbed Chen three times in the left side of his waist, in full view of witnesses.

Lin was immediately subdued by neighbors and Chen’s son, as police and EMTs rushed to the scene. Chen lost excessive amounts of blood from the knife attack, and was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.

According to reports, 18 years ago Chen asked Lin to help him rent a car so that he could travel to meet a friend. While driving the rented car, Chen slammed it into a telephone pole, making Lin legally responsible for damages.

Unable to repay the loan at the time, Lin’s father purchased the totaled vehicle from the rental company. Chen’s refusal to pay back the money to Lin and his family turned the friends into enemies.

Lin reportedly confronted Chen numerous times over the intervening years, but eventually fell out of contact with Chen, and lost track of his whereabouts.

Recently, Lin looked up Chen on Facebook, discovered his address, and began messaging him about the outstanding debt. He reportedly came to Chen’s family home on Thursday to negotiate the matter, which ended in argument and a threat of violence from Lin, reports Apple Daily.

When Chen came out of his house Friday morning, Lin was waiting for him with the knife in his back pack.

Lin under arrest (Photo from Kaohsiung Police Dept.)