Woman arrested after attacking cabby on SLE
She jumps out of taxi and climbs onto another car's bonnet, breaking its wiper
Passing motorists on the Seletar Expressway (SLE) were shocked to see a woman jump onto the bonnet of a car and then break one of its wipers in the early hours of Sunday.
Earlier, she had jumped out of a taxi, in which she was a passenger, causing vehicles to stop to avoid hitting her.
After she slid off the bonnet, she wandered into another lane, causing an oncoming BMW car to stop.
A witness who declined to be named said the woman looked drunk and was out of control.
The bizarre incident happened at about 1.40am on the SLE heading towards Bukit Timah Expressway, near the Upper Thomson flyover.
The woman had allegedly attacked the cabby in his taxi. He then stopped his vehicle to shout for help, Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News reported.
The witness said he was driving on the expressway when he noticed the taxi driver getting out to seek help from passing motorists.
WATCH: Drunk woman climbs on car bonnet on expressway
He said he then saw the woman climb on the bonnet of a black Honda Odyssey on the lane nearest the central divider and break a wiper.
After getting off, she almost got hit by a white BMW that had cut out from behind the Honda.
The witness said: "I got out of my car and helped her to the road shoulder so that she wouldn't get hurt."
The woman was clad in a T-shirt with horizontal stripes and bermudas. She was barefoot.
Another witness, who wanted to be known only as Mr Goh, 55, said he was driving back from Malaysia when he saw the incident from the opposite side of the expressway.
The motor mechanic then made a U-turn, thinking that an accident had occurred.
"I saw the woman walk on the road and two police officers approached her, followed by another four who arrived soon after," he told The New Paper in Mandarin.
"She spoke to them and they later handcuffed her."
Mr Goh said the woman became violent and abusive when the officers tried to take her to a police car.
"She shouted vulgarities and tried to kick two of the officers, so they had to bind her legs with cable ties," he added.
Mr Goh shot two videos of the incident.
The first shows the woman lying face down on the bonnet of the Honda as other vehicles drive past slowly.
She then saunters to the next lane, forcing the BMW to brake abruptly.
The second video shows the woman surrounded by four police officers.
A man can be heard explaining the incident and how the woman had kept trying to hit people.
"I pushed her to the ground and pinned her there. I couldn't just let her hurt innocent people," he is heard saying in Mandarin.
The police are later seen handcuffing the woman.
A police spokesman said they received a call requesting assistance at 1.47am on Sunday.
"Upon police arrival, it was established that a case of rash act causing hurt had occurred," he said.
"A 32-year-old woman was arrested. Investigations are ongoing."
Cabbies wary of drunk passengers
There has been a slight increase in assault cases on ComfortDelGro cabbies this year, said Ms Tammy Tan, its group corporate communications officer.
Responding to queries from The New Paper, she said: "The safety of our cabbies is of paramount importance.
"ComfortDelGro takes a serious view of crimes such as assaults committed against our cabbies, and will do our best to assist them in terms of their medical claims and losses."
She added that a distress button had been installed in its taxis, which allows cabbies to reach their contact centre which will then inform the police.
"Our cabbies who have been assaulted should file a police report and forward it to the company for follow-up action," she said.
"They have been told not to retaliate when facing a threatening situation but to try and remember as much as they can, so that they can assist the police in their investigations."
Meanwhile, five cabbies told TNP that they are wary of picking up drunk passengers as they often cause trouble.
A TransCab driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Xiu, said: "When they are in a group of four especially, one of them will surely want to fight.
"A few years ago, I stopped at a traffic light and four guys reeking of alcohol rushed in. I told them I couldn't take them because it was illegal to pick up passengers there.
"One of them punched my head and they fled."
Asked why he did not call the police, Mr Liu, who is in his 70s, said: "What's the use? They had ran away."
The cabby of more than a decade said that he no longer does night shifts and avoids picking up drunk people because of that incident.
A ComfortDelGro cabby, who wanted to be known only as Mr Latiff, 42, said he avoids picking up drunks but sometimes he feels he has no choice.
"It's money to be earned but they can cause a lot of trouble," he said.
The cabby of five years recalled an incident where a passenger became violent and punched his headrest. He did not pursue the matter because he was not hurt.
"The worst ones are those who vomit everywhere," he said.
"Three weeks ago, I picked up three young people who threw up at the same time. There was vomit everywhere, on the floor and seats, and even my shirt was ruined.
"I had to pay $100 to get the taxi washed. I got the passengers to pay $70 plus their cab fare."
Another ComfortDelGro cabby said vomiting by drunk passengers was common.
Mr Alan Loh, 59, who has been driving a taxi for two years, showed TNP his taxi's speakers which still had dried vomit stuck to them.
"I consider it my good luck that I don't get such passengers often. But when I do, it's my unlucky day," he said.
"Usually, we avoid picking them up but there are times they get a sober friend to flag the cab and then the drunk ones jump in.
"Passengers in places like Clarke Quay are the worst - they vomit, and get violent and shout.
"Even those in Geylang are safer. From my experience, they don't cause as much trouble after drinking."
- David Sun
Passengers in places like Clarke Quay are the worst - they vomit, and get violent and shout. Even those in Geylang are safer. From my experience, they don't cause as much trouble after drinking.
- Cabby Alan Loh
PREVIOUS CASES OF DRUNK TAXI PASSENGERS
A drunk salesman kicked a cabby's shin after his sister, who vomited in the cab, was asked to step out.
The cabby had picked them up at Middle Road and dropped them at Compassvale Lane where the incident happened. The salesman was jailed for three weeks.
A drunk Dutch design executive beat up a cabby who threatened to call the police after he refused to pay the fare. The man alighted in Ang Mo Kio with his girlfriend, who had vomited inside the taxi.
The cabby asked them to pay the fare and settle the issue of the vomit but the couple ignored him.
When the cabby said he was going to call the police, the man pushed him to the ground and punched and kicked him. Initially sentenced to three weeks in jail, the man was later jailed for three months after the case was brought before the High Court.
An assistant law professor attacked a cabby from behind, beating him till he was unconscious.
The professor had vomited in the cab before alighting near King Albert Park at Clementi Road. He then walked away without paying the fare.
When the cabby chased after him and threatened to call the police, the man handed the cabby $50 and struck him from behind.
The professor was sentenced to four months' jail and ordered to pay $1,500 in compensation.
He was also fired by the university.