Homeless American charged with arson in Taiwan


A homeless American teacher in Taiwan has been charged with arson for allegedly setting a bar, local media reported. 

The incident happened in a campground in southern Taiwan on Sept. 20 and his subsequent arrest came on Sept. 23 for driving a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol, daily Taiwan news said.

Identified as Harris, the suspect is an American national who is awaiting release from jail as his passport is yet to be received by the authorities concerned in Taiwan.

The report said that Harris engaged in a dispute with the owner of a campground in Pingtung County following which he allegedly set fire to a small bar on the premises on the evening of Sept. 20.

Harris, however, had fled the scene but revealed on Facebook what had happened. Three days later, he was stopped by police for driving “erratically” on the motorcycle.

He is said to be a native of Vero Beach, Florida and worked as teacher at English cram school Geng Hsin Language Center in Tainan City from 2013 to 2104. He later joined other institution.

Harris moved into a rental hut on the three-acre Rock Garden camping area in Pingtung County’s Manzhou Township after he lost his job.

However, on Sept. 17, the owner of the campground evicted him from the rented property which seems to have caused Harris to act violently.

Harris claimed on social media the landlord had allowed him to pay his rent by working for him for 30 hours a week.
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