Three members of a motorcycle gang who tried to stir up trouble at protests against the cross-strait service trade agreement have been handed over to prosecutors, the Taipei City Police Department said yesterday.
The motorcycle gang gathered on Monday evening at the intersection of Qingdao E Road and Chungshan S Road near the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, shouting at people and throwing flares into the crowd, police said.
The department said it immediately dispatched 64 officers to the scene and arrested 16 motorcyclists, who were identified by authorities as teenagers.
Police said the arrested teenagers claimed they were taking part in the protest to seek excitement, but local media reports speculated that they were members of the China Unification Promotion Party, which is led by Chang An-le (張安樂), also known as the “White Wolf,” the former leader of the Bamboo Union gang.
One of the 16 people arrested was handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for carrying two improvised explosive devices and a flare, and another two were turned over on suspicion of having violated the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), the department said.
The other 13 were released, but they could still be charged with violations of the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), the department said.
Meanwhile, at about 8:50am yesterday, a middle-aged man surnamed Chiang (江) attempted to commit suicide outside the legislature by pouring gasoline on himself.
The man shouted: “I am going to kill myself,” as he rushed toward the students participating in a sit-in against the pact.
Police promptly stopped the man by pressing him to the ground.
He was charged with disrupting public order and was released on NT$10,000 bail later yesterday.
According to the police, the man was an advertising-signs holder who works nine hours a day on the streets for NT$750.
The man said he made the suicide attempt in a desperate effort to support the protest and to prevent the younger generation from living a even harder life than he does, police said.