‘Taho’-throwing Sino woman held for assaulting cop
A Chinese woman was arrested on Saturday and faced charges of direct assault after she threw a plastic cup of “taho” (sweetened soya curd) at a policeman who was trying to explain that she could not bring it inside the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) station in Boni, Mandaluyong City.
Photos of her and the policeman she had splashed with taho immediately went viral, drawing vicious comments from netizens.
Zhang Jiale, 23, was brought to the Mandaluyong Police Community Precinct 5 and detained for disrespecting PO1 William Cristobal, 39, who had tried to help stop her at the turnstiles from bringing in a prohibited item.
Police said Zhang, who lives in a condominium on Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City, was booked for disobedience to a person in authority and unjust vexation, even after apologizing to Cristobal.
MRT food, liquids ban
Zhang resented being told to dispose of the taho because new security measures at MRT prohibited the transport of food and liquids of all kinds, police said.
When Cristobal advised Zhang that she could take another mode of transport if she would not heed regulations, she splashed the taho on the policeman’s uniform.
Rail station guards immediately apprehended Zhang, a fashion design student at SoFA Design Institute who has lived in the country for seven years, and initially brought her to the police detachment at MRT’s Shaw Boulevard Station.
Senior Supt. Moises Villaceran, Mandaluyong City Police chief, said the incident happened around 8:30 a.m. when a female MRT guard saw the taho Zhang kept in a paper bag.
Told that the taho was a prohibited item that she could not bring inside the station, Zhang “argued rudely” with the guard, who then sought Cristobal’s help, Villaceran said.
DOTr, BI actions
Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran said in a statement that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was looking at the possibility of banning the Chinese woman from riding the MRT 3 line.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Saturday said it would be coordinating with the DOTr and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to determine “possible actions” against the erring Chinese.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar said Zhang should be held responsible for disrespecting a police officer. “I asked her how she was able to treat our policeman like that. Even arrested big-time drug pushers [do not act] like that,” he said.
Villaceran said Zhang also apologized to the guard, but Cristobal was bent on filing charges.
Cop feels ‘humiliated’
Zhang, he said, could post bail after her inquest proceeding, possibly on Monday.
Cristobal said he felt the woman’s sincerity when she apologized to him but “she should face the consequences of her actions.”
“I really felt humiliated. If we let this pass, civilians will think that disrespecting policemen is OK,” he said.
In a statement, the MRT 3 management reiterated its policy on banned food and liquid items. “We are being cautious since [our] topmost priority is the safety and security of our passengers and personnel following the [bombing] attacks in Mindanao,” it said. —With a report from Faye Orellana
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