NYP student attacked NParks officer and fled after being caught fishing illegally at nature reserve

David Sun
The New Paper
June 28, 2019

Afraid that his fishing gear would be confiscated, a student elbowed an officer from the National Parks Board (NParks) and fled the nature reserve.

Yesterday, the judge called for a probation suitability report for Richard Tan Han Woon, 20, a Nanyang Polytechnic student.

At about 3pm on July 8 last year, Tan was fishing illegally with three friends at a freshwater pond at the Sungei Buloh Visitor Centre.

Although the pond is open to the public, "No Fishing" signs were placed all around the area.

Three NParks officers were approaching the group when they began to flee. While Tan's friends escaped, he was detained by the officers after his fishing gear fell out of his bag.

He asked the officers if he could pack his fishing gear and they allowed him to do so.

But after he was done packing, he suddenly attacked one of the female officers, elbowing her arm and chest.

Tan then broke free and escaped, running towards his friends nearby.


While Tan was able to escape with two of his friends, the remaining friend was caught.

The men were later identified in follow-up investigations and Tan was arrested.

He admitted to fishing at the pond despite knowing it was illegal and said he ran away as he did not want to be fined and have his gear confiscated.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai told the court that Tan had been sternly warned just last year for using insulting words on a public servant.

Tan, who was unrepresented, told the court he did not want to be jailed as he is about to graduate and does not want to be kicked out of school.

He also said that he will not commit any crimes again.

District Judge May Mesenas adjourned sentencing to July 25.

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