Jail for tourist who assaulted police officers at Changi Airport after COVID-19 rerouted his flight to Singapore
SINGAPORE: When COVID-19 disrupted his flight plans to return home to Kazakhstan from Bali with his fiancee, a man drank alcohol and later assaulted four police officers at Changi Airport while in transit in Singapore.
Kazakhstani Shevtsov Maxim, 26, was sentenced to four months' jail on Friday (May 8) for his attacks on the officers at Terminal 2 on Mar 21.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to a police officer and another of using criminal force on the same man.
Another four charges including punching and kicking three other police officers were taken into consideration.
Maxim's lawyer Chenthil Kumarasingam told the court that his client had been in Bali with his fiancee when the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in changes to their flights home.
He was told at the last minute that he had to travel alone and transit through Singapore, apart from his fiancee who was the one between them who spoke English.
Stressed, he drank whiskey at Bali's Denpasar airport, said Mr Kumarasingam.
While at the departure transit area in Singapore's Changi Airport at Terminal 2, Maxim started making a scene, court documents said.
He was behaving rowdily towards the cashier from TungLok Teahouse and two officers were speaking to him when Staff Sergeant Mohd Irwan Haron, from the Airport Police Division, approached Maxim.
He told Maxim to calm down and take a seat, but Maxim ignored him and continued trying to order two bottles of beer from the cashier.
SSGT Mohd Irwan placed his hand on Maxim's shoulder to direct him to sit down, but Maxim turned suddenly and punched him in the face.
He continued to act aggressively and scuffled with the officer. The other officers stepped in to arrest him, but Maxim continued to struggle violently.
He kicked SSGT Mohd Irwan in the face near his eyebrow and punched a second officer in the cheek.
As Maxim "was of large size and had continued to behave violently", the officers used necessary force to subdue and arrest him.
HANDCUFFED, BUT CONTINUED TO BEHAVE AGGRESSIVELY
He was placed in a wheelchair and handcuffed before being escorted towards Changi General Hospital for a check-up before going to lock-up.
On the way to the hospital, he spat on SSGT Mohd Irwan's face and kicked two other officers.
SSGT Mohd Irwan later sought medical attention and was found with abrasions over his eyelid and both forearms.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong asked for at least five months' jail, noting that there were multiple victims and that SSGT Mohd Irwan had been attacked in an exceptionally vulnerable part of his body.
Maxim's lawyer asked instead for two months' jail, saying there were "unusual circumstances that caused him some stress".
He said his client did not remember the offences but takes responsibility for them and has not been difficult in any way since he sobered up.
The prosecutor agreed with the judge that "it cannot be that because he's a foreigner, he gets a lighter sentence" as per what the defence asked for.
For voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty, Maxim could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.