Man Attacks Three with Meat Cleaver after Argument over Banana Prices

A man in Kaohsiung City took to three men with a meat cleaver after a discussion over fruit prices led to an argument over sensitive political topics.

A 67 year-old man named Lee went to an evening market in Lingyuan District at around dusk to buy some fruit. Finding that fruit prices, after a recent downturn, had risen again, Lee began to discuss the issue with a fruit vendor named Fang. The discussion turned into an argument involving Taiwan politics, and the recent loss of diplomatic allies to China, before escalating into a wrestling match.

After Mr Fang’s 71 year-old brother, and a 49 year-old man named Huang came to Mr Fang’s assistance, the outnumbered Mr Lee grabbed a meat cleaver from a nearby pork vendor and slashed at the three men. Mr Fang was cut on the neck, Huang was cut on the forehead, and the elder Fang injured his foot after stumbling. All three were treated in hospital and are out of danger.

After the attack, Lee went and sat at a nearby park. When police located him, he appeared emotional but did not resist arrest. Lee was barefoot after losing his footwear during the scuffle.

Police are investigating the case as attempted murder.

The price of bananas and other tropical fruits in Taiwan plummeted recently, leading to debates that touched on Taiwan’s international political situation. Some reminisced about the time when Taiwan bananas were the most desired and highly priced bananas in Japan, while others argued that improving relations with China could see a massive market open up for Taiwan-produced fruit.

meat cleaver used in attack
The meat cleaver used in the attack at an evening market in Kaohsiung City, Tuesday evening, June 26.
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