TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A British English teacher with a record of previous run-ins with the law in Taiwan was arrested recently for disturbing the peace and biting a police officer on a Taipei MRT train.
At a press conference today, the Taipei Police Department said that at 10 p.m. on April 22 a member of the MRT police force surnamed Tsai (蔡) received a report from the public of a disturbance while patrolling the Jiantan MRT Station. A British national was reportedly violating the restriction on eating and drinking inside the train, tossing trash at will, and shouting at passengers onboard.
When Tsai arrived on the scene, he asked the 32-year-old man, surnamed Chandler to kindly disembark from the train without affecting other passengers. When Chandler got off the train, police requested that he leave the station with attendants, but he refused, shouted that he had the right to ride the train, and began to run back toward the carriage.
When Tsai tried to restrain Chandler, he spit at the officer and bit both of his arms. The bite on Tsai's left arm drew blood and inflicted a 2 centimeter-wide laceration, about the size of an NT$50 (US$1.60) coin.
Tsai's left arm in foreground with bite visible on right. (Taipei Police Department photo)
Police had no choice but to use force to pin Chandler to the ground and place handcuffs on him. After being taken into custody and sobering up, he continued to insist that he had the right to ride the MRT.
He then questioned why he had been restrained and taken away. Police explained to him that his drunken behavior violated MRT regulations and he was no longer in a suitable condition to ride the public mass transit system, as his actions could affect the safety of passengers.
After an initial investigation, police found that Chandler had already overstayed his visa. Chandler claims that he teaches English at a cram school in Taipei.
Police placing handcuffs on Chandler. (Taipei Police Department photo)
Chandler was then transferred to the Shilin District Prosecutor's Office on charges of Assault (伤害罪) and Interference with Public Functions (妨害公務罪).
Police say that he had a record of previous criminal offenses including being arrested for stealing NT$2,700 worth of clothes from an H&M store in Taipei's Wanhua District in February of last year, reported Liberty Times.
In 2017, he boarded a bus without paying the fare and allegedly harassed the driver while in an intoxicated state. Once arrested, he then scuffled with officers in the police station, according to the report.
In the end, the driver chose not to press charges, but Chandler has since earned a bad reputation with Wanhua police as being a "troublemaker."
The police appealed to passengers to stay rational when taking the MRT after drinking and not cause panic among passengers due to disorderly behavior.