Drunk passenger attacked elderly cabby, then kicked cop twice while on the way to lock-up

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Jul 13, 2023

An intoxicated man was riding in a taxi shortly before midnight on Feb 4, 2022, after a drinking session when he started punching the elderly cabby in an unprovoked attack.

Following the attack, as Chen Lei was being driven by a policeman to a lock-up at the Bedok Police Division Headquarters, the Chinese national kicked the officer twice.

The 35-year-old assailant was sentenced to 22 weeks’ jail on Thursday.

After an earlier trial, District Judge Ronald Gwee had convicted him of one count of assault and two counts of voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant.

Taxi driver Chor Kin Yong, 73, had picked Chen up in his vehicle shortly before the attack and was entering a Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) tunnel when the younger man started punching his head and neck.

Mr Chor blocked the blows with his right hand and used his left hand to control the steering wheel. The cabby also used his mobile phone to alert the police.

After finding a safe spot, he applied the emergency brake and got out of his taxi.

An eyewitness, Mr Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Latif, later saw Chen walking aggressively towards Mr Chor, who told him that he had been assaulted. Mr Faizal then stepped in and used his arm to hold off the attacker.

Police arrived at the scene soon after. Senior Staff Sergeant Wong Chuen Kit was driving Chen to the Bedok police headquarters when he was kicked twice by the offender.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Regina Lim and Maximilian Chew stated in their submissions that Senior Staff Sgt Wong later went to Changi General Hospital, where he was found with injuries to his left forearm and back.

Mr Chor complained of head and neck pain but did not seek medical attention.

During the trial, Chen claimed that Mr Chor had hit him.

But the DPPs noted that the elderly cabby had been strapped to his seat while driving through the KPE tunnel, while Chen was sitting in the rear without a seatbelt on.

The prosecutors stressed that it would be implausible for Mr Chor to hit Chen under these circumstances.

They also told the court that there is video footage showing Chen kicking Senior Staff Sgt Wong twice in the police car.

The offender’s bail was set at $10,000 on Thursday, and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Sept 13 to begin serving his sentence.

The Straits Times

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