The popularity of Taiwanese New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming proved so deadly that a man was clubbed to death for stealing a newspaper supplement about the baseball star, Taiwan media reported Saturday.
Chou Chu-hung, 51, was caught red-handed by a convenience store manager in the northern county of Taoyuan Friday when he tried to steal a newspaper supplement reporting on the Taiwanese star, cable news network ETTV said.
In a fit of anger, the manager, identified as 26-year-old Chen Kuo-chih, beat Chou with a baseball club until he died, ETTV said.
Footage of the brutal act recorded by the convenience store's video camera showed Chou used both hands to protect his head and repeatedly asking Chen for forgiveness, but Chen ignored his begging and continued to club him until the man collapsed.
Chen was later arrested by police for murder, ETTV said, adding the newspaper, which cost just 10 Taiwan dollars (30 US cents), inserted a supplement reporting on Wang's 19th victory in his US baseball career.
Wang, who is highly popular in Taiwan, is described by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and Taiwanese news media as "the island's glory." dpa le wjh