Zhi Wei “Wally” Meng appeared in a packed Victoria courtroom this afternoon for about 30 seconds before his case was held over until Dec. 5.
Meng, until recently the manager of the Red Lion Inn, has been in custody since his arrest last Saturday for allegedly stabbing five employees with a pair of scissors. He faces five counts of aggravated assault and will remain in jail until his next court hearing.
Meng’s lawyer, Steven Kelliher, said he’s not sure if his client will enter a plea on Dec. 5. “It will depend on information available from medical people before decisions are made,” Kelliher said after court today, referring to a psychological assessment of Meng.
Red Lion employees filled the small courtroom to catch a glimpse of Meng, who showed little emotion as he shuffled in and out of the prisoner box in under a minute. A few employees shed tears and gave each other hugs of support outside the courtroom.
Ron Schinners, an employee who witnessed some of the five stabbings, said after the hearing that Meng is a good man who is well liked by his employees, and who possibly has serious mental health issues.
Meng is a minority owner and was manager of the hotel before being placed on a leave of absence.
He is accused of stabbing four employees in the dining area and kitchen of the hotel’s Jade Fountain Restaurant on the afternoon of Nov. 17, before the restaurant opened. He’s also accused of stabbing a front desk employee of the hotel.
The five employees, while traumatized, did not receive life-threatening injuries and were released from hospital within two days of the incident.