Man charged with using criminal force on safe distancing ambassador outside Hougang McDonald's

Man charged with using criminal force on safe distancing ambassador outside Hougang McDonald's

McDonald's Hougang
Screengrab from Google Street View of the McDonald's outlet at Block 684, Hougang Avenue 8.

SINGAPORE: A man was charged on Saturday (Apr 18) with one count of using criminal force on a safe distancing ambassador outside a McDonald's outlet in Hougang.

Jayseelan Ramachandran, 39, is accused of slapping the back of Ms Lee Jia Jia's hand outside the fast food restaurant at Block 684, Hougang Avenue 8 at about 1.30pm on Apr 12.

He allegedly did so to deter the public servant from discharging her duty.

The police said in a statement that they received a call for help on the day of the incident, over a dispute between the ambassador and the man.

Investigations suggested that the safe distancing ambassador had advised the man not to loiter along Hougang Avenue 8.

He allegedly hit the ambassador's hand, causing her phone to drop, before fleeing from the scene.

Jayseelan was identified after investigations, with the help of police cameras, and arrested on Friday.

He is also being investigated for two other cases of voluntarily causing hurt and breaches of COVID-19 safe distancing measures, the police said.

Jayseelan was remanded and will return to court on Apr 21 for a review of his bail.

If found guilty, he can be jailed for up to four years, fined, or both.

The police said they have "zero tolerance towards such acts of violence against enforcement officers and safe distancing ambassadors" and will not hesitate to take action against law-breakers.

READ: Police record a dozen reports of abuse against COVID-19 safe distancing officers, including man who headbutted officer

On Friday, they revealed that multiple cases of such abuse had been reported, with 12 reports of people physically or verbally abusing enforcement officers and ambassadors while they were carrying out their duties.

The enforcement officers were allegedly headbutted, punched and slapped after asking men to stop playing basketball, to wear their masks properly or to provide their personal particulars. Investigations are ongoing for these incidents.

"Everyone should take the circuit breaker measures seriously, and cooperate and comply with the instructions of the enforcement officers and safe distancing ambassadors," said the police. 

"They are doing an important duty to keep our population safe. Let us all do our part to curb the spread of COVID-19."

Source: CNA/ll(gs)

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