Videos: Man allegedly scribbled 'ISIS' on pillars, set fire and smashed Kallang Neighbourhood Police Post door

Cara Wong, Caryn Tan
The Straits Times
March 14, 2020

A 30-year-old man has been detained over a fire in front of a neighbourhood police post in Boon Keng the police said, as residents reported loud explosions from the blaze.

There were no injuries or casualties involved, said the police, adding that it was not an act of terrorism.

When The Straits Times got to the scene in Towner Road at about midnight on Saturday (March 14), there were vulgarities scrawled around the void deck walls surrounding the police post, and “ISIS” was scrawled on at least three walls. The glass walls of the police post at Block 105 Towner Road were also shattered.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the fire involved clothing and aerosol cans. 

Residents said they had heard loud explosions coming from the police post at around 11pm.

Towner Road resident Renie Cheong, 17, said she had seen the fire erupt in front of the police post as she was walking home from nearby Boon Keng MRT station.

As the fire was raging, said Ms Cheong,  a man walked to a lorry parked in front of the station to retrieve a spray paint can and wrote “ISIS” on a nearby wall

“I was quite calm, but I was thinking who would want to play with fireworks down here,” she said.

However, there were at least five to six successive “explosion-like” sounds from the burning pile, she added.

After spraying words on several walls, the man “jumped on top of the truck and scattered poker cards on the floor”, said Ms Cheong.

There was music blaring from the lorry, she added.

Other residents said the man had told policemen at the scene that he “doesn’t like PAP”.

The police said they were alerted to the fire incident at 11.10pm and investigations revealed that the man had set fire to a few bags of clothes using petrol in front of Kallang Neighbourhood Police Post. The man had also smashed the police post's glass door.

Videos of the incident circulating around social media showed the man stripping off his top with what looks to be a knife in his hand, as firemen put out the fire behind him. Police officers were also seen detaining the man at the scene. No one was injured.

The suspect will be remanded for further investigations and the police will seek a court order to send him for psychiatric assessment. 

Preliminary investigations indicated that the act was that of a disgruntled person unhappy with social inequality and was not terrorism-related. He was also acting alone.

The man will be charged in court with mischief by fire. If convicted, he will face a jail term of up to seven years and a fine. 

Mr Heng Chee How, MP for Jalan Besar (GRC), said on Facebook that the police post was unmanned.

SCDF said the fire was extinguished with a hosereel, air foam backpacks, and an extinguisher.

The Straits Times

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