Former safe-distancing ambassador fined, jailed after fighting with pet store owner, GrabFood rider
SINGAPORE: A former COVID-19 safe-distancing ambassador was sentenced to three weeks' jail and fined S$800 after fighting with a pet shop owner whom he spotted was not wearing a mask.
On Tuesday (Aug 31), Aloysius Hoe Wei Peng, 40, pleaded guilty to one count each of assault, fighting in a public place and mischief.
Hoe was employed as a safe-distancing ambassador with the Housing and Development Board between June and December last year.
The incident occurred on the morning of Dec 16 last year, while Hoe and another safe-distancing ambassador were performing their duties at Yishun Central 1.
Hoe spotted He Jun, who owned the Little Pet Kingdom pet shop, was not wearing a mask while at work in the store. Hoe then told the other safe-distancing ambassador to take a photo of the shop and the store owner so as to lodge a report.
The pet shop owner saw the photo being taken and approached the ambassador to ask her what she was doing.
An argument broke out between Hoe and He, with the two hurling vulgarities at each other. Hoe then kicked He, who retaliated by throwing a stone lion statue at Hoe.
The two continued fighting, exchanging punches and kicks. They were eventually separated by a man who worked at a shop next door.
The altercation was captured by a closed-circuit television camera in the vicinity.
The pet shop owner sustained a swollen right hand, while Hoe's injuries included bruises and abrasions on his right forearm and knees.
In June this year, He was fined S$2,000.
Hoe's lawyer S S Dhillon argued that his client was merely performing his duties as a safe-distancing ambassador at the time.
Hoe had spotted He not wearing a face mask on a number of occasions before, but had not taken action against him, Mr Dhillon explained.
WATERWAY POINT FIGHT
Separately, Hoe was also accused of fighting in February last year.
Hoe had been walking with his ex-girlfriend, Wan Farah Shireen Abu Hassan, at the first level of the Waterway Point shopping mall in Punggol in the evening on Feb 3.
A GrabFood delivery man rode in between the two on his bicycle while they were walking. This prompted Farah to shout at the rider.
The rider got off his bike and asked her why she shouted at him. Farah and Hoe then hurled vulgarities at the GrabFood rider, with Farah slapping the rider's head.
Hoe kicked the rider's stomach and threw his food delivery bag at him. He asked them to stop, but Farah swung her hand at his face.
The food delivery rider's spectacles fell to the floor during the altercation and Hoe intentionally stepped on them, damaging them beyond repair.
Farah continued attacking the rider – throwing a can at his face and swinging her handbag at his head, as well as kicking him in the stomach and punching him in the head.
A Waterway Point security officer showed up shortly after and tried to calm matters by standing in between Farah and the victim.
But she continued to make threatening gestures at the rider, later punching him in the face and causing him to bleed from his nose.
The victim was taken to Sengkang General Hospital, where he was found to have swelling on his nose and abrasions on his left forearm.
The defence argued that the offence was committed at the spur of the moment, and Hoe's mistake was in not thinking of the "serious consequences" at the time.
Farah's case is pending.