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March 26, 2010

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Cashier stabbed in dumpling restaurant; condition critical

A RESTAURANT employee was in critical condition after being stabbed five times with a fruit knife at a dumpling restaurant in Xuhui District early yesterday.

Police were hunting for the assailant, a local man who was described as drug addict by shop owners who are familiar with him.

The victim, Liu Jianguo, 45, was in the intensive care unit of Huashan Hospital after undergoing surgery.

"The knife was still in his waist when he was sent here," said Liu Lingyun, a security guard with the hospital emergency room. "Blood was all over his body."

The stabbing occurred around midnight when a drunken man in his 50s rushed into a GII Wonton outlet on 356 Wulumuqi Road M, and had a quarrel with Liu, the cashier who was taking the night shift, a witness said.

The man stabbed Liu in the waist and face five times and escaped the scene immediately.

It was the second stabbing in a local around-the-clock restaurant this month in the same district.

On Friday, a 23-year-old employee of a McDonald's in Xujiahui area was stabbed to death. Officers have not caught the suspect, who fled the scene.

The dumpling store was open for business yesterday and customers came as usual, though blood stains could still be seen at the entrance.

"Actually the man who stabbed Liu is an infamous bum," said the owner of the restaurant, surnamed Zhang.

Zhang said no one knew his real name, but many people called him "Hairy Taro" - for his ugly face, strange hairstyle and ill temper. Unemployed, he always refused to pay for the goods and was quick to start fights, locals said.

Liu was an honest and hardworking man who came from northeast China, Zhang said.

Zhang said Liu tried to dissuade Hairy Taro from sleeping in the restaurant several days ago, a possible spark for yesterday's flare-up.

An owner of a nearby grocery store, surnamed Wang, said Hairy Taro had bought several bottles of beer before the assault.

"He looked angry," said Wang.

Wang said he was "not surprised to hear that Hairy Taro stabbed someone."

Another shop owner shied away from any association with the suspect.

"Hairy Taro? I do not want to know anything about him," said the owner of a small clothing shop nearby.

Hairy Taro lives just next to the shop, witnesses said.


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