Part-time tutor gets S$2,500 fine for riding e-scooter into man at community club

Part-time tutor gets S$2,500 fine for riding e-scooter into man at community club

Keat Hong Community Club
The incident occurred on Jul 24, 2017, at Keat Hong Community Club. (Photo: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: A 37-year-old part-time tutor was fined S$2,500 on Wednesday (Sep 5) after he rode his electric scooter into a man at a community club in Choa Chu Kang and verbally abused him.

Chew Hup Seng went to Keat Hong Community Club in Choa Chu Kang on Jul 24 last year with his e-scooter.

He took the lift to the fifth floor before mounting the e-scooter and riding it into the multi-purpose hall, the court heard.

Mr Pedro JR Garcia Mondejar, a 48-year-old architectural coordinator in a construction firm engaged to conduct rectification works at the club, had politely asked Chew to stop riding the e-scooter around the hall, Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong told the court.

Mr Mondejar was concerned that the timber flooring of the hall would be damaged.

Chew was unhappy with Mr Mondejar and asked him who he was. When Mr Mondejar answered that he worked at the community club, Chew verbally abused him before riding off on his e-scooter.

Mr Mondejar returned to his office, but the incident did not stop there. A while later, Mr Mondejar walked across the hall to the lift lobby, where Chew was riding his e-scooter along a narrow corridor.

Chew could see Mr Mondejar clearly through a glass partition that separated the corridor and the hall, the prosecutor said.

Right as Mr Mondejar was about to enter the lift lobby through the open glass door, Chew swerved his e-scooter towards him and collided with him. The incident was caught on closed-circuit television.

Mr Mondejar was able to avoid getting hurt as he had blocked the e-scooter with his hands.

Chew said: "If you want, I bang you with my scooter."

Chew continued to gesture aggressively at Mr Mondejar and followed him around the lift lobby, only leaving the place after Mr Mondejar went to the hall and locked the door behind him.

CHEW WAS MOTIVATED BY ANIMOSITY TOWARDS VICTIM: PROSECUTION

Chew pleaded guilty to one charge of acting rashly and endangering the personal safety of Mr Mondejar. Another charge of pointing his middle finger at Mr Mondejar and using abusive language was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The prosecution asked for the maximum fine of S$2,500 to be imposed on Chew, saying that he had been riding his e-scooter at a location "where he was clearly not allowed to do so".

Chew was "motivated by animosity towards the victim" and it was "fortuitous that no injury was caused", the prosecutor added, as he urged District Judge Olivia Low to consider the degree of rashness in the crime.

Chew's defence lawyer countered, saying that the charge was under the personal safety limb and not under endangering human life.

"The degree of rashness is at the lower end, and not as high as the prosecution submits," he said.

The judge agreed with the prosecution and gave Chew a S$2,500 fine, with two weeks' jail in default if he cannot pay the fine.

She reminded him: "Please do not reoffend again."

The e-scooter was forfeited to the police for disposal.

Chew could have been jailed for up to six months for his rash act.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said the victim of the e-scooter incident, Mr Pedro JR Garcia Mondejar, is an employee of Keat Hong Community Club. He is in fact the employee of the construction firm engaged to do rectification works on the building. We apologise for the error.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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