An unemployed man has confessed to slashing passengers on the Beijing subway to vent his anger over a love affair gone bad, police announced Thursday evening.
The arrest comes after two young women had their faces slashed on subway trains earlier in the week.
"The suspect confessed to the police that due to his frustration in a love affair, he took malicious revenge on society. Therefore, he used a blade to slash passengers," the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said.
Police said the suspect, surnamed Hu, was 25 years old, lived in Chaoyang district, and has no job. The police are still investigating.
Residents have been worried about their safety on the subway after a man slashed a young woman with a blade at Tuanjiehu Subway Station on Wednesday afternoon.
This follows a similar incident on Saturday, in which another woman was slashed on the face.
It has not been confirmed that the suspect is the same person in both cases.
A woman surnamed Chen told the Global Times that as she was waiting for a train at the station on Subway Line 10 around 4 pm Wednesday, she saw a man getting off the train slash a young woman, who was in her 20s, and had long hair.
The man looked young and pudgy, and was about 1.8 meters tall, said Chen, and was wearing a black jacket with yellow dots.
"When the door opened, I saw the fat man's left hand scratch the woman's forehead," said Chen.
"I first thought it was a mistake. But then when I got closer, I saw the wound was deep and bleeding," she said.
The young woman asked other passengers for napkins to cover the wound, and kept her hand pressed on the five-centimeter cut.
An employee at the Agricultural Exhibition Station, who was on duty Wednesday, said he saw a pool of red liquid in the carriage.
"If it was blood, it perhaps wasn't cleaned up because the train was in service," he said, adding that he does not know any further details.
The attack follows a similar incident Saturday at Chongwenmen Station on Line 5.
A witness, surnamed Zhang, said she saw a woman in her 20s with long hair crying as she disembarked a train at the station at around 12:30 pm.
"She was crying, covering her face and she was bleeding," said Zhang.
"The woman said that someone intentionally slashed her face," said Zhang, adding the woman had two deep wounds to her left cheek.
Zi Xiangdong, a media officer from the Public Security Bureau refused to offer more details when the Global Times asked him whether the suspect is responsible for the two slashing cases.
An anonymous media officer from the Beijing Subway Company, which operates 13 of Beijing's subway lines, including Lines 5 and 10, refused to give any information about the attacks.
But an official from the Beijing Public Transportation Bureau said that they have now increased the number of officers on patrol at each station.
"Officers are on patrol at every station now. They will be there all the time the subway is in operation," said he.
These latest attacks have again left residents and experts questioning the standard of safety in the subway system, after a spate of incidents in which passengers were able to take a knife or other dangerous articles through the security check.
Sina Web users have been forwarding a picture and description which is alleged to be the Tuanjiehu suspect, and which purports to be from the security department of Beijing MTR Corporation Ltd, which operates two of Beijing's subway lines. Beijing MTR could not confirm if the online photo was the suspect.
Many residents posted that they were now still very worried about their personal safety on the subway, though the PSB weibo piece was reposted thousands of times. Some web users are worried about copycats.
Zhu Lijia, a public management professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said in terms of the attacks on the women, it is a problem of public safety as well as a subway issue.
"But the subway company management has failed in its responsibilities. The company has a duty to keep passengers safe," he said, adding that the company should pay for the women's treatment.