Man charged with wearing mask improperly, leaving house without reason and attacking police

Man charged with wearing mask improperly, leaving house without reason and attacking police

People wearing mask at Orchard Road Singapore Feb 3 (42)
A man holds a mask at Orchard Road, Singapore on Feb 3. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: A man is accused of leaving his house without a reasonable excuse during the "circuit breaker" period, not wearing his face mask properly and turning aggressive on a police officer who spoke to him. 

Christopher Amurutham, 56, was charged on Wednesday (Apr 22) with two counts under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 and its regulations, along with two charges of verbally abusing and using criminal force on a police officer.

Christopher is accused of leaving his home at Block 15, Toa Payoh Lorong 7 around lunchtime on Apr 18. The circuit breaker had been in force for more than a week at that time.

He is said to have eaten and drunk at a public bench at a nearby block without reasonable excuse.

Charge sheets also state that he did not wear his mask over his nose and mouth at all times while at the public bench, instead wearing the mask so that it covered only his chin.

When approached by a police officer at about 1pm that day, Christopher allegedly shouted a string of vulgarities including "bloody fool", "f*** you" and "f*** yourself".

Eight minutes later, he allegedly raised his right hand and used it to push the officer's hand away while she was trying to arrest him.

READ: COVID-19 circuit breaker extended until Jun 1 as Singapore aims to bring down community cases ‘decisively’: PM Lee

READ: From bubble tea runs to getting a haircut: What you can or cannot do under tighter COVID-19 circuit breaker rules

Christopher is set to plead guilty on May 6.

The penalties for incorrectly wearing a mask are a maximum six months' jail, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both for the first offence. Repeat offences draw double the jail terms and fines.

The above penalties are the same for leaving your house without a reasonable excuse.

If convicted of cursing at a police officer, Christopher faces a maximum 12 months' jail, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

Using criminal force on a public servant carrying out their duties could draw up to four years' jail, fine, or both.

Editor's note: The offences with which the accused has been charged have been amended in this article following an update from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

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Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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