SINGAPORE, Aug 31 — After directing his colleague to photograph a pet shop manager who was not wearing a face mask, safe distancing ambassador Aloysius Hoe Wei Peng began arguing with the manager before kicking him.
They scuffled and Hoe called the police, claiming that he was doing his job but was beaten up.
Several months before this, in a separate incident, Hoe and his ex-girlfriend fought with a GrabFood deliveryman at Waterway Point mall in Punggol.
Hoe kicked the victim in the abdomen and stepped on his spectacles.
For his actions last year, Hoe was jailed three weeks and fined S$800 (RM2,476) today.
The 40-year-old Singaporean pleaded guilty to one charge each of committing affray, voluntarily causing hurt with common intention, and mischief.
Two other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that Hoe was working as a safe distancing ambassador under the Housing and Development Board when he assaulted the pet shop manager named He Jun on Dec 16 last year.
He Jun worked at Little Pets Kingdom in Yishun Central 1 at the time. He has since been fined S$2,000 after pleading guilty to affray.
Hoe and a female colleague were carrying out their duties near the pet shop that morning, but they were not wearing their lanyards that identified their roles.
Hoe then told his colleague to take a photograph of the pet shop because he had seen He Jun not wearing a mask in the shop.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident was played in court, showing Hoe clad in a yellow top, shorts and flip-flops while smoking a cigarette.
After Hoe’s colleague took a photo, He Jun approached her outside the shop, asking her why she had done that.
Hoe then asked him: “What’s wrong?”
Both men began arguing and Hoe kicked He Jun, who retaliated by throwing a stone statue from a nearby table at him. The size of the statue, which was in the shape of a lion, was not disclosed in court documents.
The men then grabbed each other, fell and continued exchanging punches and kicks.
Another man who worked at a shop next door separated them.
Hoe then contacted the police, saying: “I am an SDA (safe distancing ambassador). I was doing my job. However, he beat me up. I do not need (an) ambulance.”
Although He Jun suffered a swollen right hand, he did not seek medical attention, while Hoe went to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. He had bruises and abrasions.
Assault in mall
In the earlier incident, Hoe and his ex-girlfriend, Wan Farah Shireen Abu Hassan, 33, were walking at a link bridge at Waterway Point on Feb 3 last year. He was not a safe distancing ambassador at the time.
Mr Daniel Seah, a GrabFood deliveryman, then overtook them on his bicycle by cutting between them.
Unhappy about this, Wan Farah allegedly shouted: “Do (you) not know how to say ‘Excuse me’?”
Seah alighted and asked her why she shouted at him and whether she had premenstrual syndrome, the court heard.
Wan Farah and Hoe started to use vulgar language on him. She purportedly slapped Seah’s head, causing his cap to fall and Hoe kicked Seah’s abdomen and threw his GrabFood carrier at him.
They persisted in the assault and when Seah’s spectacles fell, Hoe stepped on them, damaging them beyond repair.
Wan Farah allegedly continued to attack Seah by throwing a can at his face, swinging her handbag at his head, kicking him in the abdomen and punching his head.
A security guard arrived and stood between them, but Wan Farah continued gesturing at Seah and allegedly punched him again, causing his nose to bleed.
CCTV footage of the whole incident was similarly played in court.
Seah was taken to hospital and given two days of outpatient medical leave. He also had to buy a new pair of spectacles for S$268.
Wan Farah has been charged and her case is pending.
Broke the law before
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yang sought three to five weeks’ jail and a fine, arguing that instead of enforcing safe-distancing rules, Hoe used his “own personal justice” to confront He.
Hoe had also been under investigation at the time for assaulting Seah.
The prosecutor further revealed Hoe’s past criminal convictions, which included being jailed in 2000 for rioting and being a member of an unlawful assembly.
He was also a secret society member in 2018 and had committed drug-related offences in the past.
In mitigation, Hoe’s lawyer SS Dhillon told the court that his client has learned his lesson and is “walking the straight and narrow path now”.
Hoe was employed as a safe distancing ambassador from June to December last year, and now does freelance work such as selling amulets and surgical masks online, the lawyer said.
Hoe addressed District Judge Prem Raj as well, saying that he was a volunteer in a nursing home for elders and was last imprisoned eight years ago.
For affray, he could have been fined up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to a year, or punished with both.
For voluntarily causing hurt, he could have been jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or both. Those convicted of mischief can be jailed for up to two years or fined, or both. — TODAY