Former Dayuan Township (大園) council speaker Yu Hsiang-ching (游象經) has died after being severely beaten in mysterious circumstances in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Initial reports indicated that robbers broke into Yu’s house and stole an unspecified amount of jewelry and money after tying Yu and his wife up using adhesive tape.
The 64-year-old Yu, who tried to fight off the intruders, died of head injuries sustained during the melee, police sources said, while Yu’s wife managed to free herself by gnawing through tape.
She called for police and an ambulance after finding the injured Yu in their bedroom, barely clinging to life. Yu was taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment, but was pronounced dead at about 5am.
The incident took place at Yu’s home in Dayuan Township’s Sanshih Village (三石) in Taoyuan County.
Police prioritized investigation of the case, as Yu was a former township representative and a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and also served as chairman of the township council in Dayuan Township.
Authorities initially treated Yu’s death as the result of a burglary. However, later reports said that Yu was involved in a number of land deals and had engaged in financial battles with some groups. Consequently, police said his death may have been related to disputes over shady real-estate transactions.
The death highlighted public safety in rural parts of the country, where criminal organizations often wield influence and where even politicians can sometimes be targeted.
The Taoyuan district prosecutor and police investigators went to Yu’s house yesterday afternoon to investigate the case.
Neighbors said they were shocked, adding that Yu and his wife were always friendly and generous in their dealings with people.
A member of a prominent family in the Pusin (埔心) area of Taoyuan, Yu served four terms as township councilor from 1982 to 1998, and had held the post of speaker of the township council.
Taoyuan County Councilor Hsu Chih-wan (徐其萬), a Yu family friend, said he met up and spoke with Yu and his wife at a function in Dayuan Township on Tuesday and did not notice anything unusual.
Hsu said he was saddened by Yu’s death, because Yu was a good man who often provided guidance to the younger members of the township council.
“Even after his retirement from politics, Yu was still actively involved in local affairs, participating at many local functions and keeping in touch with old friends,” Hsu said.