Singapore

Cleaner who flew into rage at waitress jailed three weeks

He spoke loudly in Hokkien to get the attention of a waitress, but she did not understand the dialect. Thinking that she was ignoring him on purpose, cleaner Toh Kian Teck flew into a rage.

Toh and his friend Tay Soo Yong then created a ruckus at the Balestier Bak Kut Teh (Kian Lian) restaurant. A video of the incident went viral.

Yesterday, Toh, 53, was sentenced to three weeks' jail after pleading guilty to one count each of harassment and mischief.

Tay, 51, a foot therapist, was fined $4,000 on Jan 23 for his threatening behaviour towards waitress Cheng Weihui, 27. He threw chopsticks at her twice.

Toh, Tay and two of their friends had gone to the eatery on Aug 19 last year after a drinking session. The court heard that they were observed to be intoxicated when they took their seats.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said: "The accused yelled in Hokkien that he wished to order some food, but the victim did not understand Hokkien. The accused perceived the victim as having ignored him. Agitated, the accused threw chopsticks placed in a cutlery holder in her direction from where he was seated."

Tay followed suit as he also became angry over the perceived slight.

DPP Lee said Toh also shouted obscenities at Ms Cheng before he threw a chair at a rack and shoved a food steamer containing buns onto the floor.

Still angry, Toh wanted to go after Ms Cheng but Tay pulled him back. The four friends then left.

"The shop was left in disarray and the shop owner suffered loss as various items... were left damaged," said DPP Lee.

"The total value of the damaged items and food was at least $2,118.60." - SHAFFIQ ALKHATIB

COURT & CRIME