A vigilante mob gathered outside a gated community in Luzhou District, New Taipei City, and a small group managed to infiltrate the building to beat up a man after a video of a domestic violence incident was shared on social media, yesterday, January 13.
On the evening of January 12, a 42-year-old man named Lin sent his 12-year-old son out to buy some spicy meatballs. However, the son returned with un-spiced meatballs. Lin flew into a rage, demanding to know why his meatballs were not spicy. Lin smacked his son around the head several times, and grabbed his wife in a headlock when she attempted to intervene.
Lin’s wife, named Lee, filmed the incident on her phone to use as evidence for divorce proceedings as Lee had grown weary of Lin’s drinking and violence.
Domestic Violence Hotline 113
After the incident, Lee called the domestic violence hotline, “113.” Lee and her son were sent to hospital for treatment and examination. The 12-year-old boy had bruises to his head and hands and facial bleeding. Lee had bruises to her head and shoulders.
Lin was handed a protection order, and Lee and her son taken into temporary housing by social workers.
After the video of the incident circulated on social media, an angry mob gathered outside the gated community.
At first, a group of six people turned up at around 6:00pm and had a dispute with security personnel who blocked their entry.
Vigilantes invade home and assault Lin
At around 7:00pm seven people managed to get inside the building and rang Lin’s doorbell. When Lee answered the door men dragged him out and attempted to force him to eat a dried chilly pepper. Lee was slapped around the face before police arrived and rescued him from the angry mob.
Lin was taken to hospital where he was found to have an injury to his mouth but was otherwise unhurt. The seven people were arrested by police and taken in for questioning.
A large number of police were sent to the hospital where another mob gathered. Lin refused to apologize in the face of media and threatened to sue a female reporter taking pictures of him with her mobile phone.
By 11:00pm, the mob outside Lin’s residence had grown to more than 100, many filming live to Facebook and other social media. One man, Zheng Ming-jie, broadcasting live to Facebook, cooked up a pan full of chilly peppers and other spicy ingredients to offer Mr Lin.
Police urged the mob to leave, and eventually the crowd dispersed, after police accepted the gift of spicy peppers on behalf of Mr Lin.
Police and legal authorities called for calm. “Vigilante justice is not justice,” a former senior prosecutor of the New Taipei City District Prosecutor’s Office told reporters.
A New Taipei City Police Department spokesperson said: “It’s really abominable.”
“No matter who does wrong, it should be handled by the police and judicial procedures.”
Warning: video shows a real physical assault on a child and his mother and may be disturbing to some viewers.