Mentally disabled man arrested after standoff


The China Post news staff

A mentally disabled man in New Taipei City was arrested yesterday after a one-hour-long confrontation with the police, according to police officials.

According to police, the man, surnamed Lee, who lives in the Jinguashi (金瓜石) Area of the Rueifang (瑞芳) District was found waving a 35-centimeter-long knife in the neighborhood around 10:30 a.m. yesterday, allegedly because of an emotional breakdown. Two officers in Jinguashi who received calls from Lee’s neighbors later rushed to the man’s residence. Lee continued to yell and wave the weapon when the police arrived. He later hid in a house in a small alley and sealed the door, the police said. In order to draw Lee’s attention to force him to leave the house where he was hiding, the police officers decided to ask a missionary from a nearby church for assistance, since Lee is a man of religion.

They first came up with the idea of playing gospel music on a cell phone, hoping to calm the man down, a move which later proved to be futile.

Police authorities later chose to provoke him by asking him for a one-on-one duel. The provocation proved to be effective since Lee furiously walked out the house with knife in hand. The police officers then sprung their ambush and used a netgun to capture the man. Lee was later sent to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung for further medical treatment. The initial investigation found that Lee had a criminal record for using illegal drugs. He allegedly became mentally challenged because of narcotics abuse and repeatedly claimed that his life was in danger, the police said. He reportedly even hid a knife under his pillow so that he could protect himself when sleeping. Lee’s wife and daughter left him after being granted a court protective order. Lee may have been trying to take revenge on the police after a recent forced hospitalization by the authorities, the police said.