Mentally challenged Chinese kills US businessman

Published: 13th July 2012 12:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2012 12:28 PM   |  A+A-


A visiting US businessman has been killed by a suspected schizophrenic Chinese in Beijing city, leading to concerns being raised over handling of such suspects with mental health problems.

Howard Thomas Mills, 62, was stabbed to death Wednesday and police arrested An Libo shortly after the attack, China Daily reported Friday.

Police believe An killed Mills.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mills was from Indian Hill, Ohio. He arrived in Beijing July 3 on a business trip along with his wife, a senior technologist at Procter and Gamble.

Beijing's public security bureau said on its microblog that the 34-year-old suspect is from Heilongjiang province's Zhaozhou county and had arrived in Beijing by train that morning.

An was also detained last year for a similar, but non-fatal attack in Shanghai, where, after being deemed mentally ill, he had been put on a train home and effectively released back into the community.

Criminal records provided by a Shanghai police officer, show that An was detained in the city's Zhabei district in January 2011 on suspicion of intentional injury with a knife and robbery.

An was evaluated at the Shanghai Mental Health Centre, which diagnosed him with schizophrenia and said he could "not be held criminally liable" for the robbery or stabbing.

Legal and health professionals warn that there are no strict guidelines for how police should deal with suspects with mental health disorders, which means that many people could be slipping through the cracks.

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