TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Melodrama erupted at the traditionally tranquil Taipei Plas trade show on Sept. 28 when a mysterious intruder flung red paint at the Baumüller Automation Equipment Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. booth.
A quick-thinking Baumüller staffer snapped photos as he took off in hot pursuit of the vandal, reported Kedan Du, vice president of Jiangsu Xinda Science & Technology Co. Ltd. Du witnessed the attack from Xinda's nearby booth.
However, the assailant eluded capture.
No one was hospitalized, said Hsuan Tsai, publicity manager for show organizer TAITRA.
Du and another witness, manager Ray Wu of Zhejiang Bangtai Machine Co. Ltd., described the vandal as a man in his 40s and wearing a white shirt.
Wu, whose booth was directly across the aisle from the Baumüller booth, reported seeing two Baumüller staffers splattered with paint. One, a woman, also had red paint in her hair, Wu said.
Angela Wu (no relation), a saleswoman for ZhouShan Ruihong Screw Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which shared the booth with Zhejiang Bangtai, said a Baumüller staffer had to clean paint off her face and clothes.
A Plastics News reporter arriving at the Baumüller booth shortly after the incident found it abandoned and cordoned off. Like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe movie, a lurid streak of red paint had been hurled across the back wall of the booth and onto a table bearing staffers' business cards.
Coffee cups had been abandoned on a table.
Cleaning crews were busy most of the afternoon mopping up the mess, which included paint tracked throughout the fourth floor exhibition area and lobby.
By later afternoon, the booth had been walled off. By the afternoon of Sept. 29, a sign announcing the booth's closure appeared.
Tsai said video of the fleeing vandal has been turned over to Taipei police.
“Safety comes first for TAITRA,” Tsai said. “We followed standard protocol. We called the Taipei police and we turned over videotape to them. We are waiting for the results of their investigation.”
Taipei police declined to comment.
Plastics News attempted to contact Baumüller's Shanghai and German offices by email and phone, but by 6 p.m. on Sept. 29, Taipei time, had received no reply.
Baumüller Automation's parent company, Nürnberg, Germany-based Baumüller Holding GmbH & Co. KG, provides drive systems for plastics processing machinery and automation equipment.