News

Naked man arrested for allegedly hitting mum

The shouting in the sixth-storey flat started at about 8pm on Wednesday and it did not let up for the next four hours.

Some neighbours who heard the heated exchange between male and female voices said they were surprised, as it was the first time such an incident had occurred in the unit at Block 606, Clementi West Street 1.

But others said they had heard quarrelling in the flat since Monday.

At times, the yelling was so loud that people at a coffee shop at the foot of the next block could hear the voices. But none of them could make out what the fight was about.

There were also sounds of doors being slammed and glass shattering.

At about 11.30pm, a neighbour, Mr Bah Soo Liang, 50, who was at the coffee shop, could not take it any more.

The renovation designer said he knew the couple who have lived there with their grown-up son and daughter for more than 10 years.

Mr Bah told The New Paper in Mandarin yesterday: "I shouted at them, 'Have you had enough?'"

His intervention brought the daughter to a window, where she waved at Mr Bah and shouted for help.

"She said, 'Uncle, call the police,'" said Mr Bah.

"So I asked my wife to call the police."

TNP understands that during the altercation, the son threw a brass figurine at his mother and hit her on the head.

When the police arrived at around midnight, a stand-off ensued after the son locked himself in a bedroom in the flat and threatened to jump down.

A neighbour, housewife Lee Sau Heng, 50, said in Mandarin: "He shouted, 'Don't come in or I'll jump!'"

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which received a call at 11.43pm, sent its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) to assist the police in resolving the stand-off.

A fire engine, a Red Rhino, two ambulances and three support vehicles were also sent to the scene.

When TNP arrived at 12.45am, a safety life air pack had been deployed at the foot of the block as a precautionary measure. A crowd of about 30 people had gathered outside the police cordon to watch the rescue operation.

RAPPELLING EQUIPMENT

Residents in the opposite block could see through the open bedroom window that the man was naked. He was pacing around the room and sometimes going to the window to check the situation.

Meanwhile, SCDF's Dart rescuers went to an eighth-storey flat directly above the sixth-storey unit.

A woman living in the flat, who declined to be named, said she was not surprised to see the officers at her door.

"I had expected them to come here because this is what usually happens in the Hong Kong shows that I've watched," she said.

The woman added that her family was woken up by the shouting.

Seven to eight rescuers squeezed into her five-room flat with their rappelling equipment.

After they secured ropes to the balcony grilles and a large water pipe outside her flat, the Dart officers rappelled down to the sixth-storey unit at 1.05am and surprised the man.

As he tried to close the window to prevent the officers from entering his bedroom, one of them was heard shouting: "Hey, open, open."

Unknown to the man, a second team comprising SCDF and police officers, used breaking tools to force open the bedroom door.

Freelance designer Khalil Mahmud, 55, who saw the daring manoeuvre from his flat in the opposite block, said: "One team distracted the man by rappelling down to his window and making it seem as if they were going into his room from there.

"And just when his back was turned, the team that was already in his flat broke in through his room door and apprehended him."

As he was overpowered, the man could be heard shouting in Mandarin: "Get lost! Don't come here!"

The drama ended at 1.30am when the man, who was wrapped in a white towel, was wheeled to a waiting ambulance.

The onlookers clapped and praised the rescuers for a job well done.

The SCDF said that a man in his 20s and a woman in her 60s were taken to the National University Hospital. There was no information on their injuries.

Shin Min Daily News reported that they had since been discharged.

The police said they arrested a 26-year-old man for voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous means and are investigating.

When TNP went to the sixth-storey flat yesterday, an elderly woman opened the door slightly but declined to comment.

Neighbour says man has no friends

The man who was arrested on Wednesday night is known to his neighbours for his eccentric behaviour.

Just several months ago, he allegedly stole a doll belonging to a neighbour.

Mr Bah Soo Liang, 50, a renovation designer who lives in a nearby block, said: "He stole it from my friend, hugged it and ran to the next block to hide. We called the police and he was taken away."

Mr Bah said he had also seen the man driving a lorry in the past, but said he stopped doing so last October.

"He liked to park his lorry with the exhaust facing my group of friends sitting at the coffee shop," he said.

"The exhaust smoke would blow towards us, making us so angry. But we refrained from confronting him."

Mr Bah also claimed that the man liked to watch his group of friends when they hang out at the coffee shop.

He said: "No one talks to him. No one greets him. He's weird. He has no friends."

Another resident, who gave her name only as Ms Norin, said the man became known to his neighbours after an incident about two years ago.

She said: "He had a car in 2013. It was a (Nissan) Skyline, a sports car. He would rev the engine very loudly in the middle of the night at the open-air carpark downstairs.

"Everybody knows who he is. He's a trouble-maker."

Another neighbour had also previously seen the man being escorted back to his flat by the police, Ms Norin said.

"He was wearing a singlet and boxer shorts and covered himself with a blanket," she said.

PAST INCIDENTS

DECEMBER 2014

A Chinese national stabbed himself on the ninth-storey ledge of Block 505, Tampines Central 1, after allegedly killing a woman in a flat at a nearby block.

The self-inflicted wounds left a stream of blood dripping down the walls of the block. He was arrested and charged with murder.

SEPTEMBER 2014

As a woman, believed to be in her 50s, lay at the foot of Block 68, Toa Payoh Lorong 6, following a suspected suicide, a dozen men attacked an unidentified man.

A witness said the woman had jumped from a 12th-storey ledge despite pleas from neighbours not to do so.

FEBRUARY 2013

A 34th-storey resident of Block 22, Teban Gardens Road, helped to rescue an abused maid who was trying to flee from her employer on the 36th storey by climbing down from the kitchen balcony.

The maid later told the resident that she had been beaten by her employer.

The employer was jailed for four weeks last August for hurting the maid.

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