TAIPEI – An enraged crowd called for justice and the death penalty after Taiwanese suspect Wang Jingyu was arrested for beheading a four-year-old girl in Taipei on Monday morning.
The blood-drenched 33-year-old was seen on Taiwanese media footage pleading for mercy repeatedly before an angry mob that formed around him as he was being led out of a police station in handcuffs yesterday afternoon.
Emotionally charged and furious over the grisly crime, the crowd could be heard shouting expletives and some even attempted to hit him. He faced an angry crowd again at 7.30pm when he was escorted out of the station to be transferred to a police prosecution building, reported Apply Daily.
Wang had chopped off the girl’s head with 12 cuts using a hefty cleaver right before her mother in Neihu, eastern Taipei.
According to reports, eye-witnesses had tackled the suspect to the ground before police arrived, but it was too late to save the little girl, who is affectionately nicknamed “Little Lightbulb” by her family.
At Wang’s home, police officers found scribbling on his notepad which read “Killing Sichuan girls can extend bloodline”. According to his father, Wang, had a drug conviction, was also mentally unsound.
“Shocked and saddened” by the incident, President Ma Ying-jeou asked his Cabinet to launch a full investigation “to ensure justice be served”, China Post reported.
A Kuomintang (KMT) legislator called for the law to punish those who murder children 12 years old or younger with either the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The attack took place in Taipei’s Neihu District’s Huashan Road Section 1 where the toddler and her mother were taking a stroll.
According to the police, Wang bought the cleaver at a wholesale market earlier in the morning. before taking a train to Xihu station. Wang was loitering near Neihu Road Section 1 at about 10am when he spotted the toddler and her mother.
He then followed them, with the knife in his hand.
Wang approached the girl when her toy bicycle appeared to have broken down. He then attacked her in front of her mother who screamed for help, according to a China Post report.
Taiwanese people say such crimes did not use to happen on this small island, rated as the second safest place in the world because of its low crime rate according to global surveys.
Huang Tsung-jen, the deputy director general of the National Police Agency, told the BBC: “This is not a crime problem, but a societal problem.”
The suspect had a history of drug offenses, was unemployed for some time and had sought treatment at a psychiatric hospital.
“The whole society’s safety net has loopholes – we should be asking whether we have enough resources to help the mentally ill and the unemployed,” said Mr Huang.
He has urged the public to be calm, saying Taiwan’s crime prevention system is good, and its crime rate has been declining significantly. It dropped to its lowest level on record last year.
In 2014, a 21-year-old Taiwanese man Cheng Chieh went on a mass stabbing spree on the Taipei metro system, killing four people and injuring 24 more.