COVID-19: Woman charged with verbal abuse and resisting arrest at Sun Plaza, remanded at IMH
SINGAPORE: A woman who was filmed arguing with another person at Sun Plaza shopping mall while not wearing a face mask was charged on Saturday (May 9) with using criminal force on the police and multiple counts of verbal abuse.
Kasturi Govindasamy Retnamsamy, 40, was also ordered to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation and will return to court on May 22.
She was given one charge of using criminal force to a police officer by struggling and resisting arrest, and four charges of using abusive words on a police officer and three other people.
All the offences arise from the same incident on May 7, in the Sun Plaza mall at 30 Sembawang Drive, charge sheets showed.
The police said earlier in a statement that they received a request for help from a crowd manager at the mall, saying that a woman was uncooperative and refused to wear her mask properly.
When the police arrived and asked for her identity, Kasturi allegedly began peeling off the address sticker on her identity card.
According to charge sheets, she used abusive words on a woman, saying: "Scan the IC, b****".
Court documents also state that Kasturi cursed at police officer and hurled similar vulgarities at another man, calling him "you idiot".
She is also accused of causing a woman distress by saying to her: "COVID-19 is because of you Chinese."
About an hour after these incidents, Kasturi purportedly struggled and resisted arrest when a police officer tried to subdue her.
The police said in their statement that Kasturi was previously issued a composition fine of S$300 for not wearing a mask at Sun Plaza on an earlier occasion on Apr 29.
She will be investigated for not wearing her mask properly under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, they said.
The police added that everyone should take the "circuit breaker" measures seriously and that they will "not tolerate such blatant disregard of the law and wilful breaches of safe distancing measures".
If convicted of using criminal force on a public servant, Kasturi could be jailed for up to four years, fined, or both.
For cursing at a public servant, she could be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
For each count of using abusive words on the other victims, she could be jailed for up to six months, fined a maximum S$5,000, or both.