Food deliveryman in viral road rage against taxi ferrying passengers and toddler gets jail
SINGAPORE: A food deliveryman who was shown in a viral video striking a cab with his motorcycle helmet while passengers were in the vehicle has been sentenced to jail.
Joel Tan Qing Wei, 31, was given six weeks' jail and fined S$2,000 on Friday (Nov 11).
He pleaded guilty to one count of using abusive words and another charge of mischief. Two other charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Tan was working as a GrabFood delivery rider at the time.
At around 6pm on Oct 10, 2021, Tan was riding his motorcycle very slowly at a roundabout near Block 804B, Keat Hong Close.
The victim, a 55-year-old taxi driver, drove his vehicle towards the block. He was ferrying a couple with their 18-month-old child.
As he came to Tan's motorcycle, which was moving very slowly in a zigzag manner, the cabby sounded his horn once and drove past.
Tan shouted a Hokkien expletive at the cabby. The taxi driver turned into the car park and into the rubbish bin centre, intending to reverse out.
He checked that there was no one behind his taxi before reversing. However, the cabby heard a bang and realised that he had collided with Tan's motorcycle.
Tan had been following him to confront him.
Tan shifted his motorcycle to the side and laid it on the ground before approaching the taxi. He circled the cab, repeatedly shouting for the victim to come out, while slamming his hand on the windows and trying to pull open its doors.
Tan began shouting expletives at the cabby. He also tore off the rear windscreen wiper and threw it, causing the glass in the windscreen to shatter.
He picked up his motorcycle helmet and struck the taxi in multiple places, smashing both side windows and hurling the helmet at the side of the cab.
The incident lasted more than four minutes and was captured on the cabby's in-car camera footage. The passengers in the car and a resident in the Housing Board block also recorded videos.
Some of the footage was spliced together and uploaded on Facebook. At least six people called the police over the incident, including one of the taxi passengers.
Tan left the scene on his motorcycle before police arrived, and was arrested on Oct 12 last year.
It cost S$9,651.40 to repair the damage to the taxi. Tan made full restitution.
The prosecutor asked for six weeks' jail and S$3,000 fine.
Tan's lawyer asked for leniency, saying his client was extremely remorseful and had cooperated.
The judge said that such "thuggish and appalling" behaviour had no place on the roads.