Jail, fine for Singaporean who hurled vulgarities, punched bus driver

Jail, fine for Singaporean who hurled vulgarities, punched bus driver

SINGAPORE,. Distracted by his mobile phone, Chan Yong Hui did not notice the bus pulling up at the bus stop.

When he finally noticed that it was leaving, he ran after the bus, boarded it and hurled vulgarities at the driver, before punching him in the face.

For his actions, Chan, 37, was jailed for four weeks, and fined S$2,000 (RM6,084.50) yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt, and another charge of shouting abusive words at a public service worker.

The court heard that Chan, who is a condominium manager, was waiting for SBS Bus Service 111 at a Commonwealth Avenue bus stop on Nov 21 last year.

Chan did not notice the bus when it pulled up to the stop, and only raised his hand to flag it when he looked up and saw it pulling away.

Chan ran after the bus for about 13 seconds, before the bus driver checked his mirrors and noticed him.

He then slowed the bus to a stop, and opened the bus doors for Chan to board.

Immediately after the doors opened, Chan rushed on board and hurled Hokkien vulgarities at the driver, who also responded with vulgarities.

After that, Chan punched the driver in the face, causing his spectacles to fly off.

“The accused then stepped out of the bus and continued behaving aggressively towards the victim, challenging the victim to get off the bus to “clarify the matter” further, suggesting that he was prepared for further acts of violence,” deputy public prosecutor Tang Shangjun told the court.

The bus driver did not retaliate further, instead parking the bus and telling other commuters to alight.

The SBS control centre called for the police, and police officers arrived soon after.

Closed-circuit television footage from the bus that was played in court showed Chan assaulting and verbally abusing the driver.

In his mitigation plea, Chan, who was unrepresented, said he was going through a “rough patch” in his marriage and would not ordinarily act this way, but was overcome by tension and stress.

He also claimed this was the third time the same driver saw him at the bus stop and drove off.

Chan added: “It’s not like I wanted to bully the bus driver or act (like a) gangster. It happened in the morning, nobody in their right mind will want to find trouble in the morning.”

Tang said: “It was not the bus driver’s fault. In fact, he stopped to let (Chan) on, and he was rewarded with violence and vulgarities.”

District Judge Mathew Joseph noted that public transport workers deserve to be protected, and that Chan’s actions were “not justifiable at all”.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Chan could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined up to S$5,000.

For using abusive words to a public servant in the execution of his duties, he could have been fined up to S$5,000, and/or jailed up to 12 months. — TODAY