4-year-old girl’s decapitation in Taiwan sparks outrage and death penalty debate


The 4-year-old girl on her bicycle was next to her mother at a train station in Taipei on Monday when it happened: A man grabbed the girl from behind, and using a cleaver, decapitated her, according to police.

"Her mother was next to her when this occurred, and she struggled with the suspect to try to stop him," Yang Kun-ming, of Taipei City Police Department, told NBC News. "But the suspect was too strong and she could not stop him. The mother screamed for help and passersby rushed over to subdue the suspect, but it was too late. The child already died."

Police identified a 33-year-old unemployed man as the suspect in the case, AFP reported. Video footage shows crowds beating the man as he was being taken to a prosecutor's office for questioning on Monday, according to the wire service.

Authorities haven't released a motive in the attack. Police said the suspect has been previously treated at a psychiatric hospital, but doesn't have a government-issued disability card, according to the Taiwanese Central News Agency.