Mon, Oct 14, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Shilin market employee charged after tourist row

LANGUAGE BARRIER:The employee said he brandished a skillet knife at an Australian man, who was demanding a prize for his children, because he felt he was being bullied

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

People walk past food stalls in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market in an undated photograph.

Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times

A stall employee surnamed Cheng (鄭) is to be charged with making threats and posing a danger to others after he allegedly brandished a knife at an Australian family of four in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market (士林夜市).

On Oct. 5, an Australian couple and their two children visited the shops and arcade parlors at the market’s New Shilin Market building, police said.

The children were playing a “scooping fish” game at one of the shops when an argument started.

Cheng and other employees told police that the family did not understand the rules of the game, and the father demanded a prize.

When he was refused, the man allegedly became angry and used an obscene hand gesture, police said.

Cheng told police that he felt he was being bullied by the Australian man, who was larger in stature, and therefore flourished a large skillet knife to protect himself.

Police were called after the wife reported the incident to an information desk.

After taking statements from both sides, police initially said there had been a misunderstanding due to the language barrier between those involved.

The Australian couple decided not to press charges, but police said that waving a knife at customers contravened the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), and proceeded with the prosecution.

The incident was the latest bad publicity for the Shilin Night Market.

Last month, a South Korean allegedly paid more than NT$1,000 for a bag of sliced fruit, although many locals said that the price should be at most half that amount.

Foreign tourists last year complained of being grossly overcharged when they bought seven small bags of fruit from a vendor for NT$1,500.

The incidents have since prompted the Taipei City Government to conduct checks at the market.

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