Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Police arrest five suspects in Hsinchu murder case

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Five suspects who allegedly beat a Hsinchu City man to death last Wednesday were arrested yesterday.

The arrests prompted Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) to announce that the case was closed.

Of the five, one is an adult while the other four are high school drop-outs ranging in age from 14 to 16, the police said.

The 31-year-old victim, Yu Jhi-bing (余之斌), was allegedly beaten to death by five thugs using wooden sticks and their bare hands while sitting in a park with his girlfriend at around 1am last Wednesday.

Yu was described as a loving son who quit his job last year to take care of his cancer-stricken mother.

Yu’s murder sparked heated discussion on the Internet, prompting thousands of Web surfers to start a letter-writing campaign to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attacking the government’s inability to keep the public safe and mocking Hsinchu City for its title of “most blissful city.”

Liao had vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible. Speaking at a conference celebrating Police Day yesterday morning, Ma also urged the police to solve the crime quickly.

An hour after Ma made his remarks, Liao told a 10am press conference that a suspect had been arrested and had confessed to the crime.

A 16-year-old suspect surnamed Cheng had reportedly admitted to repeatedly striking Yu with a wooden stick after he and his friends had been drinking.

The gang fled the scene and Yu died shortly after arriving at a local hospital due to severe trauma to the head, the police said.

Police arrested the four other suspects yesterday afternoon using information provided by Cheng.

The police had originally blamed motorcycle racers for the crime. Liao said even though the perpetrators do not appear to have been bikers, he had already instructed all police precincts in the country to be extra vigilant in nabbing racers during the summer months.

Opposition supporters chided what they described as inefficient law enforcement efforts, saying the police had only worked double time on the case because Ma had intervened.

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