Mon, May 01, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Man arrested after gunbattle, standoff

SHOTS FIRED IN JHONGHE:Police were trying to arrest Liu Pang-cheng when he fled. Thirty shots were fired, but negotiators eventually talked him into surrendering

By Hsu Sheng-lun, Yu Heng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Police officers yesterday escort suspected gangster Liu Pang-cheng into a car in Jhonghe District, New Taipei City, after Liu surrendered following a three-hour stand off.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

An exchange of gunfire and a three-hour standoff with police ended safely yesterday as a suspected organized crime member surrendered to police in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District (中和).

No casualties were reported, the New Taipei City Police Department said.

The gunman, identified as Liu Pang-cheng (劉邦誠), is the suspected leader of a drug ring and a chapter head of the Celestial Way (天道盟) gang, the department said.

Sindian (新店) Precinct polivr had Liu under surveillance for some time because he was suspected of heading a narcotics ring and using drugs to recruit addicts to be dealers, it said.

Officers tried to apprehend him yesterday morning after an arrest warrant was issued, the department said.

Liu resisted arrest and fled toward Jhonghe with the police in pursuit, leading to a firefight on the streets in which 30 shots were exchanged, police said.

Liu then entered a residence on Lane 410, Jingsin Street (景新街), it said.

The police officers who had been pursing Liu retreated some distance from the building and a SWAT team was called in to cordon off the alley and warn local residents before negotiations began, the department said.

Liu supposedly had a grenade in addition to guns and threatened to commit suicide during the negotiations.

He also demanded to see his girlfriend, who police escorted to the scene to talk with Liu after putting body armor on her.

After three hours of negotiations, Liu laid down his weapons and surrendered, police said.

Liu is also a suspect in several violent crimes reportedly connected to urban development projects in Taipei’s Zhongshan District (中山) and the attempted blackmail of a man surnamed Shao (邵) for NT$3 million (US$99,279), police said.

During the standoff, the police department’s priority was protecting bystanders and local residents, and triple security lines were established to keep residents from being taken hostage, Criminal Investigation Corps Commander Liao Hsun-cheng (廖訓誠) said.

New Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Hu Mu-yuan (胡木源) said Liu had apparently acted out of fear of facing 18 years or more in prison for resisting arrest, drugs and other charges.

Officers talking with Liu kept telling him that he would not be sentenced to life in prison or to death and that he would be likely to receive parole if he behaves well in prison, Hu said.

A prosecutor who was also at the scene told Liu that he would be treated with leniency if he surrendered, Hu said.

Meanwhile, a family member of murdered former Taoyuan county commissioner Liu Pang-yu (劉邦友) yesterday denied that Liu Pang-cheng was a cousin of the dead man, as some local media reports had claimed.

Liu Pang-yu’s family lived in Taoyuan’s Jhongli (中壢) and Pingjhen (平鎮) districts, and although there are many people in the generation who carry the word Pang (邦) in their given names, no one by the name Liu Pang-cheng is known to the family, the relative said.

The family deeply mourns Liu Pang-yu and does not wish to see his reputation or that of his relatives tarnished by erroneous information, the relative said.

Liu Pang-yu and six others were killed in an execution-style slaying at his residence on Nov. 21, 1996, a case that was never solved.

Additional reporting by Lee Jung-ping

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