Brawl over a bag of chips land two men in hospital
Fight breaks out in minimart after shopkeeper refuses to let boy pay for chips separately from his other purchases
An argument over a bag of chips at a minimart turned into a brawl that ended with two men in the hospital on Sunday evening.
The incident, which happened in an iEcon minimart at Block 75D, Redhill Road, was recorded on video by a passer-by, a warehouse supervisor who wanted to known only as Miss Wei, 38.
The 16-second video shows the two men clashing in the aisle as items fall off the shelves.
The men are seen repeatedly trading blows as one crashes into a chiller, shattering the glass.
The dispute is believed to have started when a 12-year-old boy wanted to pay for a bag of chips and other snacks.
At the counter, he asked to pay for the bag of chips separately from the rest but the 32-year-old shopkeeper refused.
Mr Daniel Lin, a partner at the mini-mart, told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that the boy then started to mess up the displays by moving random items.
The shopkeeper then shouted at the boy, who left to call his 22-year-old brother.
Miss Wei told Lianhe Wanbao that she was paying her bills at the AXS machine just outside the minimart when she saw the two brothers run in.
The older brother started arguing with the shopkeeper loudly, but the argument quickly turned physical.
It is unclear who started the fight.
At that point, Miss Wei quickly took out her phone and recorded the video.
She said the shopkeeper eventually managed to overpower the other man and pinned him to the ground.
The boy, who had been standing around unable to do anything, then left but returned soon after with his mother.
"The mother begged the shopkeeper to let her other son go," said Miss Wei.
"For five minutes, she repeatedly asked him to let her son go and talk it over calmly."
But the shopkeeper told her to "wait for the police" to arrive.
The police arrived later and cordoned off the area, while the two men were taken to Alexandra Hospital in separate ambulances.
The New Paper understands that they were bleeding from the head and suffered various injuries all over their bodies from the shattered glass.
A police spokesman said they were informed of the incident at about 6.14pm.
He added that the two men were later arrested for affray and that investigations are ongoing.
The scuffle left items all over the floor and displays were destroyed.
The shop was closed on Monday but it was business as usual yesterday when TNP visited.
The shopkeeper, who declined to be named, had visible cuts on his head and lip.
He said: "I just wanted to control him (the 22-year-old man), not beat him. I am the victim here."
He also claimed that he had called the police even before the dispute became physical.
When asked to describe the series of events, he declined to comment further.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, there were about eight people who witnessed the incident but no one stepped in to help. It is not known if the 12-year-old got his bag of chips.
"The mother begged the shopkeeper to let her other son go. For five minutes, she repeatedly asked him to let her son go and talk it over calmly."
- Miss Wei, an eyewitness