Man who jumped into Rochor Canal after touching woman in church gets jail, fine

Man who jumped into Rochor Canal after touching woman in church gets jail, fine

man apprehended by police
A video circulating on WhatsApp showed a man being apprehended by a police officer in the water.

SINGAPORE: A drunk man caught on video being apprehended by police in a canal was jailed for five days and fined S$2,500 on Tuesday (Sep 3).

Indian national Rajendran Prakash, 27, had been drinking in the Bugis area on Sep 29, 2018 after getting his salary for his maintenance officer job.

At about 1pm, he entered the Church of Our Lady Lourdes at 50 Ophir Road, and touched and embraced a woman there.

An eyewitness, retiree Eu Seng Kee, was praying in the church when he heard the commotion and saw Rajendran rubbing the woman's arm with his hands.

He asked the woman to move away from Rajendran, but Rajendran continued to follow the woman and "behaved in a rowdy manner" in the place of worship, according to court documents. 

Another man, 49-year-old financial controller Gladiston Joseph, came forward to intervene and noticed that Rajendran smelled strongly of alcohol.

After he suddenly slapped Mr Gladiston's face, Rajendran was pinned down to the ground but was later released and told to behave himself. 

Mr Gladiston asked a priest to call for police assistance and a message was sent to the authorities stating that a drunkard had gone into the church and "started groping ladies".

Rajendran then jumped into Rochor Canal in an attempt to flee. 

A police officer jumped into the water and caught him, in a sequence that was captured on video and went viral on WhatsApp.

He was arrested and escorted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department, but behaved aggressively and was uncooperative.

He cursed at the two officers escorting him, showing his middle finger and uttering vulgarities.

Rajendran pleaded guilty to one charge of conducting himself in an annoying manner while drunk and another of using abusive words towards a police officer. A third charge was taken into consideration.

The penalty for a person who conducts himself in an annoying manner while drunk is a jail term of to six months, a maximum fine of S$1,000 or both.

For the charges under the Protection from Harassment Act, Rajendran could have been jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum of S$5,000 or both.

Source: CNA/ll(hs)