Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Details of the Fang Zhouzi Attack Emerging
A day after the Beijing police arrested Xiao Chuanguo, a few details of the case and its investigation started to emerge publicly.
After the attack on Fang Zhouzi gained much publicity, both local and city police allocated a large amount of resources to investigate the case. They interviewed close to a thousand people in the area and identified a couple of eyewitnesses. They were also able to retrieve a surveillance video footage showing a man following Fang Zhouzi right before the attack.
Within days from the attack, police was already able to identify the man in the video as 32-year-old Xu Lichun (许立春). Further surveillance on Xu Lichun then led police to his co-suspect Long Guangxing (龙光兴) and Dai Jianxiang (戴建湘). After they were comprehended, Dai Jianxiang, a distant relative of Xiao Chuanguo's, confessed that Xiao Chuanguo paid him 100,000 RMB (14,000 USD) to "teach Fang Zhouzi and Fang Xuanchang a lesson". Dai Jianxiang then offered half of that money to Xu Lichun and Long Guangxing to do the dirty work.
Xiao Chuanguo himself was abroad at the time of these arrests, so the crack of the case was kept secret for days, until police was able to arrest Xiao Chuanguo on his return at the Shanghai Airport yesterday.
The attack itself was more dangerous than it had previous thought. Fang Zhouzi escaped thanks in part to a comical error committed by the perpetrators. The attack was designed to have Xu Lichun confront Fang Zhouzi head on with pepper juice and an iron hammer while Long Guangxing hit with a steel rod behind Fang Zhouzi's back at the same time. Fortunately, Fang Zhouzi ducked quickly enough that the majority of the pepper juice landed on Long Guangxing's face instead, neutralizing that sneak attack. Fang Zhouzi was then able to run away. Xu Lichun chased and threw his hammer to him a couple of times. He managed to hit Fang Zhouzi on the back once but only caused minor injuries.
Various news reports indicate that all suspects, including the mastermind Xiao Chuanguo himself, had already confessed their criminal actions to police.