Taiwanese sentenced to prison for attacking migrant worker over missing wallet

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taoyuan District Court sentenced two Taiwanese attackers to 6 years and 5 years, 6 months prison time respectively for attacking and robbing a migrant worker in 2019 over unfounded suspicions that he had stolen their wallets.

The Thai migrant worker who worked in Taoyuan City was attacked over two years ago in October 2019 when the two men surnamed Wu (吳) and Pan (潘), forcibly stole his bag and money.

According to local Chinese-language media, Wu had misplaced his wallet in Taoyuan City’s Luzhu District (蘆竹區) and saw migrant workers at a nearby industrial zone. He unfoundedly suspected them of picking up his wallet, and later, along with his friend surnamed Pan, attacked an unsuspecting and innocent Thai worker who happened to ride his electric bike past them.

Using a helmet to harm the victim, Wu held one hand around the neck of the migrant worker while he “inspected” the bag’s contents with the other.

Pan was reported using a translation app on his phone to inform the migrant worker “A wallet is missing. We suspect you of picking it up. We’re going through your bag to make sure.”

Unsurprisingly, Wu’s wallet was not in the migrant worker’s bag; instead, he decided to steal the worker’s wallet to “compensate” for his missing money.

The migrant worker later said he felt extremely scared when he was attacked and added that Wu was so crazed in “inspecting” the bag that the strap broke from all the tugging.

When the two men were arrested, Wu claimed that he was too angry to control himself at the moment and defensively said he had “used a translation app” to explain to the migrant worker what was happening.

He also described how the worker cooperated and handed over his bag, seemingly forgetting the threat he posed as a factor for this apparent “cooperation.”

Pan, in turn, turned on his accomplice and claimed that he only helped Wu try to find his wallet and didn’t know that Wu had stolen the migrant worker’s money later on.

Although Wu’s lawyer attempted to reduce his sentence by citing his Tourette’s disease, and physical and mental disorders as reasons for the unprovoked attack, the judge later determined that the psychiatric appraisal and motive of the two people were not applicable to commutation.

It was also reported that the two had returned to the scene of the crime the next day to continue looking for bags, and attacked another migrant worker.

Ultimately, Wu was sentenced to six years prison time while Pan was sentenced to five years and six months, though the case can still be appealed.