NEW YORK—A man accused of attacking a Falun Gong practitioner in New York was arrested by police in Flushing today and taken to the NYPD's 68th Precinct station in Brooklyn.
Wei Qiu (whose legal name is Victor Yau), accused of assaulting John Yu, a Falun Gong practitioner, with a metal steering wheel lock in Brooklyn on June 15, was arrested in Queens while distributing anti-Falun Gong flyers written in Chinese. He was wearing a hardhat and a vest displaying slogans slandering Falun Gong. He had been seen wearing the same outfit while distributing flyers several times in the past month in Flushing and in Manhattan's Chinatown area. Police made him remove the hardhat and vest before arresting him.
John Yu, 39, who says he was attacked by Qiu with a steering wheel lock last week, was at the scene of the arrest. Around 3:30 p.m. on June 21, Yu said he found Qiu distributing anti-Falun Gong flyers in Flushing. While distributing materials, Qiu used a paper strip to seal his mouth.
"I was across the street from the Queens Library [in Flushing and] I saw Qiu under the Main Street bridge," said Yu. "Police were nearby so I called the police to arrest him."
According to Yu, around 3:45 p.m., a few police surrounded Qiu. One police officer took away the vest and another handcuffed Qiu. Yu said people at the site clapped and cheered.
"When I first saw him today, I was a bit scared," said Yu. "He hit me a few days ago with a heavy metal bar."
"The District Attorney and the legal system will, by looking in and investigating this issue, see the big picture," Yu said. "This is not an isolated crime. This has a lot to do with the Chinese government and the Chinese Consulate."
Yu is referring to recent information from the non-profit World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), which possesses a recording of the Chinese Consul General of New York, Mr. Keyu Peng, who is heard boasting that he secretly encouraged the attacks occurring on U.S. soil.
Yu also hopes that the arrest will act as a warning against future attacks. "I hope that a signal is sent to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) through this arrest that they cannot brutalize people in the U.S. like they do in China," said Yu.
Qiu's Previous Activities
There have been numerous eyewitness accounts identifying Qiu at several anti-Falun Gong gatherings in the past month.
Qiu was first observed on May 25, shouting slogans on a megaphone and encouraging a crowd to follow his verbal attacks against Falun Gong practitioners in New York's Chinatown during a Falun Gong parade.
On May 31, Qiu was again seen wearing a sign displaying anti-Falun Gong slogans in front of the Queens Library in Flushing, where Falun Gong practitioners were holding a rally.
On June 9, a 10-year-old boy was observed distributing materials in New York's Chinatown meant to incite hatred toward Falun Gong, and said he was acting under Qiu's orders.
On the same day, Qiu was witnessed telling several unidentified individuals, "I have sent several people to distribute [the anti-Falun Gong materials] at two intersections." Qiu was seen driving a silver Lexus SUV, the same vehicle that he was spotted in when leaving the scene of the attack on June 15.
On June 19, Qiu was seen in Manhattan's Chinatown, and on June 20 in Flushing wearing a vest with anti-Falun Gong slogans and distributing anti-Falun Gong flyers.