Singapore

Headhunter jailed for assaulting cop

Inebriated after six to eight cocktails, a Hong Kong-based headhunter assaulted a police officer outside Zouk nightclub.

Briton Alex Arrash Ariana, 34, who frequently travels to Singapore for work, was jailed on Monday (Sept 18) for three months after admitting to grabbing Staff Sergeant Ivan Chen's neck and punching him on the face at about 4.30am on April 29.

A second charge of using abusive words on the 30-year-old officer outside Tanglin police station's report lodging room was considered during sentencing.

A district court heard that Staff Sergeants Chen and Dion Sng were approached by another officer over an argument Ariana had with the security manager of the club in River Valley Road.

When the two officers saw Ariana trying to get into an ambulance parked outside the club, one of them stopped him and told him to "relax". Ariana told Staff Sgt Sng not to touch him.

Things turned nasty quickly with Ariana behaving aggressively.

He resisted when the officers tried to arrest him and the victim fell to the ground.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said: "While the police officers tried to pin him down to the floor, the accused grabbed the victim by the neck using his right hand."

Ariana then punched the victim on his face, above his left eye. When he got up and tried to walk away, four police officers pinned him down. Ariana struggled violently and was handcuffed. He continued struggling and hurling vulgarities at the police officers even when he was in the patrol car, and offered to pay $10,000 to the court so he could leave.

Ariana's blood alcohol level was 94mg/100ml. By way of comparison, the limit for drink driving is 80mg/100ml.

The victim suffered swelling and bruising over the left eye and abrasions over the left elbow, and was given four days' medical leave.

In their mitigation plea, Ariana's lawyers Tania Chin and Jeremy Pereira, from Withers KhattarWong, said their client was desperately trying to seek medical help from paramedics after he saw an ambulance parked outside Zouk.

In his intoxicated state, he was unable to communicate properly to the police officer that he had difficulty breathing and needed medical attention immediately, they said.

Ms Chin said her client, who has lost his job, panicked. He also suffered injuries during the incident.

Ariana could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment for causing hurt to a police officer in the discharge of his duty.

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