Bizarre sexual assault suspect detained in Vietnam, mental illness claims dismissed

Thanh Nien News

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Tran Huu Phuc at a police station in Hue after he admitted to breaking in homes to stab women in their genitals. Photo: Bui Ngoc Long Tran Huu Phuc at a police station in Hue after he admitted to breaking in homes to stab women in their genitals. Photo: Bui Ngoc Long

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A man who allegedly broke into a series of women's homes to stab them in the genitals in Hue is detained for two months pending criminal investigation, police of the central Vietnamese city said Tuesday.  
Tran Huu Phuc, 23, is being investigated under the charge of deliberately causing injuries, a police officer told Tuoi Tre newspaper.
The police arrested Phuc on November 30, the day he allegedly stabbed three female shop assistants in Tran Cao Van, Nguyen Tri Phuong and Hung Vuong Streets.
Victims had filed a series of complaints since September.
The police also seized a pencil and a wood stick, both sharpened, which Phuc admitted to having used to stab eight women in their genitals.
Phuc, who was working as a hotel receptionist in town, claimed he learned from Japanese pornographic movies online.
He said he felt joy instead of regret about doing it.
Phuc’s family said he is mentally unstable, a claim dismissed by the police.
His younger brother, identified only as H., told news website Dan Tri last week that Phuc showed signs of mental illness in 2006.
He ate paper, screamed out loud in the street and ran toward the railway when the train was coming, H. said.
But his condition has improved after receiving treatment at Hue Central Hospital, the brother said.
Phuc’s girlfriend said he was always gentle and appropriate with her.
Neighbors said Phuc was friendly and helpful, although they heard him screaming at night.
His friends said Phuc had a good academic record with various scholarships, including a grant for studying tourism in Singapore that he was supposed to leave for soon.
But one friend told a story from their night grade.
When Phuc got two (out of ten) marks for a math test, he suddenly screamed, punched the wall, swallowed the test paper and fainted.
He continued to scream once in a while in the classroom several weeks later, the friend said.
H., the brother, said he has read Phuc’s statements on newspaper about how he enjoyed doing the stabbing.
“He did not know what he was saying.”

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