UPDATE: Huang has been charged with murder following the pronouncement of his son’s death at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 25). Authorities will examine the son’s body to determine the cause of death on Thursday (Aug. 26).
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A father surnamed Huang (黃) has been arrested after strangling his 19-year-old son with a phone charging cord during a row at home on Tuesday evening (Aug. 24).
The son had initiated an altercation with his mother late at night over trivial issues, and Huang strangled him unconscious by accident while trying to prevent the 19-year-old from attacking the mother. The son suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest but was resuscitated, and is currently in intensive care but still unconscious, CNA reported.
Huang is currently in custody and charged with attempted murder.
The Huang family has a history of violent parent-child conflicts despite the parents’ effort to care for their children, according to the Kaohsiung City Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center, which started intervening in the family's altercations in 2015. According to UDN, the center had received reports from both the parents and child over the years but stopped receiving new reports since 2018.
Huang and his wife have struggled with caring for their son, who is diagnosed with a mental illness. The Kaohsiung Social Affairs Bureau said the parents have done their best to help him by regularly taking him to the hospital and making sure he took all his medication, which improved his emotional stability, CNA reported.
Following Huang’s arrest, the family not only has to worry about their son’s health condition but also has to manage finances carefully, as Huang is the only employed family member. The Social Affairs Bureau has been in contact with the mother to offer emergency aid to help with daily life and her son’s treatment.
Lee Hui-ling (李慧玲), head of Kaohsiung’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center, said it is difficult for families to care for mentally ill children and recommended calling the police when dealing with these types of conflicts at home. The police can assist with resolving the issue peacefully as an objective third party and prevent altercations from escalating or going out of control.