69-year-old man arrested following alleged attack on fish soup hawkers at Tanglin Halt Food Centre
SINGAPORE: A 69-year-old man was arrested for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon after allegedly attacking two hawkers at Tanglin Halt Food Centre on Friday (Apr 8).
The police said they responded to a call for assistance at about 7.15am at 3A Commonwealth Drive, where the food centre is located.
The suspect had allegedly injured a man with a wooden pole and punched a woman after a dispute before fleeing the scene, said the police. The injured man was conscious when taken to hospital.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the man is known to both victims, the police added.
In an update late on Friday, the police said they arrested a 69-year-old man. Investigations are ongoing.
For voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, those found guilty may be jailed up to seven years, fined, caned, or a combination of these punishments.
The two victims, Ms Wang Wei, 54, and her boyfriend Mr Punnataro Wee, 51, run a fish soup stall at Tanglin Halt Food Centre.
The pair told CNA that they had just reopened the stall on Monday after taking a few months off since Ms Wang had been in hospital.
At about 7am, Mr Wee was seated outside the stall as he was cleaning and chopping vegetables while Ms Wang was inside the stall preparing fish.
Ms Wang recounted that she heard a commotion, and turned around to see the perpetrator hitting Mr Wee with a wooden stick.
She then quickly rushed out of the stall and tried to grab the stick, with the man also hitting her several times on the head and arm.
The man ran away once Ms Wang managed to wrench the stick from him. She then called the police and an ambulance with the help of other nearby stall owners.
The attack left Mr Wee bleeding profusely and a photograph of his injuries showed streams of blood flowing from his head.
Mr Wee had fainted after getting hit the first time, although he regained consciousness shortly after and helped to fend off the attacker, added Ms Wang.
“I took some photos of the blood, it was just flowing like water. It was very scary,” she told CNA in Mandarin.
When CNA visited Tanglin Halt Food Centre at about 4pm, bloodstains could be seen on the floor near Ms Wang and Mr Wee’s stall.
A hawker who wanted to be identified as Mr Tan said he did not know the nature of the relationship between the victims and the suspect.
The chicken rice hawker, who runs his business next to Ms Wang and Mr Wee’s fish soup stall, also said that the suspect operates a fish soup stall in another section of the hawker centre.
Mr Tan recounted witnessing the suspect creep up behind Mr Wee before suddenly attacking him with a stick.
“We didn’t even notice him coming over. He just suddenly attacked,” he added.
“After that he ran, we didn’t chase after him, because we know who he is. The whole thing was very strange.”
According to Ms Wang, this was not the first time the suspect had threatened herself and Mr Wee.
Police reports seen by CNA showed that Mr Wee made at least three police reports in 2020 after he was threatened with Hokkien vulgarities by a fellow stallholder. In response to a report made on Mar 11 that year, the perpetrator was given a 12-month conditional warning in July.
“I hope the police can investigate this carefully. I’m scared he will come and look for me again,” said Ms Wang.