'Playboy' faces gun charge after clash
Updated: 2011-09-20 07:08
By Cao Yin (China Daily)
Flames rise from Wang Ke’s Audi on Beijing’s Dong’anmen Street on Dec 17 after allegedly being hit by a station wagon driven by Wang Shuo, who is now facing prosecution for possession of illegal weapons and destruction of property. LI WENMING / FOR CHINA DAILY
Wealthy socialite accused of hitting rival's car; weapons found in home
BEIJING - A real estate developer known as one of the "capital playboys" has been charged with firearm offenses following a nighttime showdown with a rival.
Wang Shuo, deputy general manager of Beijing Wangfu Centurial Development, will stand trial for illegally possessing weapons and destruction of personal property.
"The case was filed on Sept 2," said Sun Ying, a press officer for Dongcheng district people's court, who added that a trial date is still to be decided.
The 29-year-old will face judges alongside five others accused of helping Wang buy the weapons and destroying evidence. All six were released on bail.
According to a copy of the indictment, the accused was driving a station wagon on Wangfujing Street on Dec 17 when he was involved in an altercation with Wang Ke, 30, another "playboy", who was in an Audi.
Wang Shuo is alleged to have taken out a "gun-shaped item" and aimed it at his rival through his car window. The victim called the police and chased after Wang Shuo's car.
At about 9 pm, both cars stopped in Dong'anmen Street before Wang Shuo is alleged to have reversed his station wagon into the Audi, causing it to set on fire. He then ran away. Wang Shuo was detained the following day.
The damage caused to the Audi was later valued at about 199,000 yuan ($31,000).
Beijing Morning Post reported that police seized four "guns", 2,000 air-gun pellets and six live rounds of ammunition during a search of Wang Shuo's home.
Police have not confirmed whether they found live firearms or pellet guns. However, the indictment stated that the weapons were purchased at a market in Tianjin by Wang Yafei, an employee at Wangfu Centurial Development.
Another employee, Zhao Qianfeng, also helped his boss destroy potential evidence by wiping surveillance footage recorded by a camera in Wang Shuo's company car park, according to the indictment.
The news has become a hot topic online, with both netizens and experts weighing in on the discussion.
As of 5 pm on Monday, a copy of the indictment posted on Sina Weibo by a user called Wuyuesanren had been forwarded almost 32,000 times.
Tang Hongxin, a criminal lawyer at Ying Ke Law Firm, said Wang Shuo is looking at more than seven years in prison if he is convicted.
"Everyone is equal before the law. There are no exceptions for rich men," he said. "Celebrities who commit crimes can often have a more negative effect (on society) than ordinary people."
This month, Li Tianyi, the son of popular singer Li Shuangjiang, was ordered by police to receive one year of special education after driving a BMW car without a driving license and hitting a couple in Beijing's Haidian district.
(China Daily 09/20/2011 page4)