Foreigner Attacked on Taipei Metro

Aris Teon February 18, 2015 8:59am


According to reports, a fight broke out between a Taiwanese worker and a foreigner from Namibia yesterday (February 17). The clash erupted at around 17:00 local time at Hongshulin Station (紅樹林站), on Taipei Metro Line 2.

Apparently the fight started because of a queuing dispute when the passengers boarded the train. The worker allegedly hit the foreigner with pliers. The man started bleeding from the head. The victim’s Taiwanese wife then tried to keep the worker away.

Taipei Metro staff immediately intervened. The attacker appeared unrepentant as he continued to curse the man who was lying on the floor. The victim was taken to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Danshui. The police have opened an investigation.

According to the victim, he and his wife were taking the train to Zhongshan Station. They were the first ones in the line, but a 61-year-old Taiwanese worker surnamed Qiu jumped the queue. The foreigner patted on the man’s bag and complained in English about the man’s behaviour. An argument between the two started, which continued after they boarded the train. The 61-year-old man cursed the foreigner and his wife. He drew closer to the couple, and the foreigner pushed him back for fear he might harm his wife. Then the Taiwanese man hit his head with pliers.

When the Taipei Metro staff entered the train, the victim was taken to the hospital and his wife was interrogated by the police. The 61-year-old Qiu had left the scene of the event, but police eventually caught up with him. He apologised for what he had done, stating that he had grown angry because the foreigner had pushed him. Qiu now faces charges.

According to some eyewitnesses, however, it was the foreigner who jumped the queue. This angered not only Qiu, but also other passengers.

Netizens‘ responses were mixed. Some people condemned the attacker. For example, a netizen wrote: “Beating someone is wrong” (打人就是不對). Others, however, criticised the foreigner.  A netizen compared him to the notorious Jason, a foreigner who assailed a Taipei bus driver last year. “Last time it was also a foreigner (老外) who cursed a bus driver.  What a pity that he had the good luck not to bump into such an uncouth worker. PS: This kind of foreigner always has a Taiwanese woman accompanying them.”

The victim has been identified as a Namibian athlete. According to Focus Taiwan his name is Juhannes Benade, and is 41 years old. Yet no information about a person of this name is available online. However, a Namibian athlete named Reginald Benade moved to Taiwan in 2010.

Aris Teon

A blogger writing about Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.