Man hangs on to moving car for 5km
It may look like a scene from a movie, but what happened to Mr Haresh Govindaraju was no stunt.
It was the most terrifying ride of his life as he clung to a moving car, slumped against the windscreen and bonnet, for about 5km.
His arms were spread across the windscreen so his hands could grip the metal frames - each barely 3cm wide - at the edge of the windscreen.
Mr Haresh, a 47-year-old technician, told The New Paper yesterday: "I didn't dare move as I clung to the front of the car. The lines on the road were a blur.
"I held on as tightly as I could. I was so terrified that I would end up being run over by the car if I lost my grip."
His ride of terror last Saturday evening had started at King Albert Park in Bukit Timah and ended at a neighbourhood police post at Bukit Batok East Avenue 6, roughly 5km away.
It was captured on video and the clip was later posted on citizen journalism website Stomp.
Mr Haresh and two friends had staked out a condominium at King Albert Park that day for a man who allegedly owed them money over an investment deal that had turned sour.
The man is believed to be a manager in a credit company, who had become uncontactable more than six months ago.
Mr Haresh's friend had received a tip-off that the manager and his family were living in the condo.
At around 6pm, the trio spotted the manager driving into the condo.
They went to intercept the driver but when he saw them, he tried to drive out of the condo.
Mr Haresh said he stood in front of the moving car to block it from leaving.
"I was confident he would stop. After all, we were childhood friends," he said.
"The next thing I knew, I was hit and I found myself lying face-down on the car's bonnet."
Mr Haresh showed this reporter bruises on both his shins during the interview in his Hougang flat. He said the bruises were the result of him being hit by the car's front bumper.
He added that the car kept moving while he was on the bonnet, so he had no choice but to hang on for dear life.
As the car drove away, it barely missed a white car that was entering the condo, he said.
Mr Haresh also claimed that the driver tried to dislodge him from the car by swerving, braking and even turning on the windscreen wipers.
"I could feel the windscreen blades rubbing against my body," he said.
He started panicking when the car went onto the busy Upper Bukit Timah Road and then turned left to Jalan Jurong Kechil.
Though he had no idea of the car's speed, it felt fast to him as the wind buffeted his body.
Couldn't he have got off the car when the car slowed down?
"I saw the female passenger gesturing to me to get off the bonnet but I didn't dare move because I couldn't gamble that he would stop safely. What if he had accelerated when I tried to get off?" said Mr Haresh.
Somewhere along Jalan Jurong Kechil, the drama was captured on video by someone in a passing car. Mr Haresh said he had no idea he was being filmed.
"I had no time to look at the surroundings or figure out where he was taking me to," he said.
"I only noticed the things happening to me. Every time he jammed on the brakes, I started to slide down the bonnet. When that happened, I desperately held on to the windscreen wipers.
"When he accelerated, I was pushed up against the windscreen."
The video clip on Stomp showed the car's brake lights coming on and off abruptly.
Mr Haresh said he shouted at the driver in Tamil, asking if he really wanted to kill him. But he was unsure if he could be heard from inside the car as it was windy outside.
At one point, when the car slowed down to a crawl, a man went to him and said in Malay: "Mati, mati, abang. Turun, abang." ("You'll die, brother. Get down, brother.")
Mr Haresh said that particular encounter was hazy. All he remembers saying to the man was, "Write down the car's licence plate number."
When the car stopped, Mr Haresh found himself at the front of the neighbourhood police post in Bukit Batok East Avenue 6.
The driver honked to get the attention of the police as Mr Haresh stubbornly clung on to the car, as he did not want the driver to flee.
When an officer asked him to get off the bonnet, he did so only after the female passenger agreed to alight and enter the police post with him to give her statement.
The driver drove off after that, said Mr Haresh.
The police said they had "established a case of rash act had occurred".
A police spokesman told TNP that two men had been arrested and were later offered police bail.
TNP understands that the driver is being investigated for the rash act.
Mr Haresh said: "Netizens are saying that I'm crazy or a joker to jump on the bonnet.
"The truth is, I'm no hero. Nobody in his right mind would want to be in my situation. I had no choice."
"I was confident he would stop. After all, we were childhood friends. The next thing I knew, I was hit and I found myself lying face-down on the car's bonnet."
- Mr Haresh Govindaraju