TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese tourist was arrested on Monday morning (Oct. 7) after he was captured on video ripping down a Lennon Wall at National Taiwan University (NTU).
On its Facebook page on Monday afternoon, the National Taiwan University Student Association (NTUSA) posted a video showing a Chinese man tearing down signs on a Lennon Wall on the college's campus. In the description, NTUSA wrote that at 10:45 a.m. that morning, a male Chinese tourist was seen ripping off signs from a Lennon Wall set up by the student organization at the First Student Activity Center while a female Chinese companion looked on.
However, an NTU student captured the tourist's entire act of vandalism and notified school authorities. Because the space being borrowed by the NTUSA and is open to postings by all students on campus, the organization pledged to press charges against the man to the fullest extent of the law.
Lee being escorted by police. (CNA photo)
Police received a report of the incident and immediately dispatched officers to search for the suspect. They soon found the suspect, a 30-year-old surnamed Li (李), and took him into custody.
During questioning, Lee claimed that he had just happened to walk past the Lennon Wall while sightseeing in Taipei and that he spontaneously decided to tear it up, reported CNA. However, police still have suspicions about his statement and will investigate to see if there was any incitement behind the scenes.
Lee was transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office on charges of Malicious Mischief (毀損罪). The torn posters are also being temporarily kept in police custody to facilitate the investigation by prosecutors, according to NTUSA.
When asked to comment on the incident, the Da'an Precinct of the Taipei Police Department told CNA that the two Chinese nationals claimed they had come for Taiwan for travel. The male was arrested for allegedly tearing down the signs, while the female was not taken into custody as she did not directly participate.
NTU stated that the university respects freedom of speech and will deal with the incident in accordance with the law. The university said that it will strengthen patrols around the activity center and the Lennon Wall and emphasized that it will take steps to ensure the safety of students on campus.