Policeman stabbed to death on train graduated top of his class

2019/07/04 19:42:05 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lee Cheng-han (李承翰) / Image taken from Lee's Facebook (facebook.com)

Lee Cheng-han (李承翰) / Image taken from Lee's Facebook (facebook.com)

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), a 24-year-old railway police officer who died Thursday after being stabbed by a passenger in Chiayi the previous night, was first in his class when he graduated with honors from the police academy in 2014.

Soon after he graduated from Taiwan Police College at the top of his class, he went to work at the Chiayi branch of the Railway Police Bureau and was employed there until his untimely death that resulted from stab wounds inflicted by a knife-wielding man on a train, the bureau said.

The northbound train had stopped at the station in Chiayi, Lee's hometown, when the 54-year-old passenger flew into a rage and pulled a knife after the conductor asked him to buy a ticket.

When the police was summoned, Lee boarded the train and tried to deescalate the situation, but the passenger stabbed Lee in the abdomen, and he later died at hospital of liver trauma and cardiac arrest, according to Chen Shun-han (陳順和), director of the Kaohsiung branch of the Railway Police Bureau.

It was only in June that Lee was honored by the Railway Police Bureau for his performance on the job, Chiang Chen-yi (江振義), the Railway Police Bureau chief said.

According to one of Lee's colleagues, the young cop carried out his duties with great enthusiasm, and his teammates were devastated to learn of his death.

The public also appeared saddened by Lee's death, as many people could be seen laying flowers outside his workplace in Chiayi on Thursday.

Lee, an only child, was about to turn 25 on July 12.

The man who ended his life appeared emotionally unstable when he was arrested and taken to the Chiayi Prosecutor's Office on Thursday, police said, adding that he has not said why he staged the attack.

According to the suspect's wife, however, they both suffer from depression and her husband, an electrician, had been off his medication for a long time.

She said they have been under great financial pressure because many of her husband's clients had not been paying their bills.

"But I did not know his depression was so severe," she wailed, speaking to reporters gathered outside her residence in Tainan.

"I'm sorry about the police officer," she cried, kneeling before the crowd. "I'm sorry for the pain caused to the police officer's family."

According to the Tainan City Government's Bureau of Social Affairs, the suspect, his wife and their two daughters are listed as a low-income household.

(By Chiang Chun-liang, Huang Guo-fang, Chang Jung-hsiang and Chung
Yu-chen)
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