SINGAPORE — A cyclist who punched a lorry driver after the latter confronted him with a flask on the road was fined $5,600 on Thursday (10 June).
Jeffery Todd Martin, a 57-year-old Canadian, was caught in a widely shared video punching lorry driver Zhang Ping, who fell along Jalan Eunos.
Martin pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt to Zhang, a 34-year-old Chinese national, and one count of riding his bicycle in a disorderly manner without regard to safety of others.
Zhang was dealt with separately, according to court documents, which did not state his punishment.
Martin, a Singapore permanent resident, was cycling ahead of Zhang on the extreme left lane along Jalan Eunos on 24 February 2019. Zhang caught up with Martin and overtook him from the right.
At about 10.23am, as Zhang was passing Jalan Awang, Martin overtook him from the right side and cut in front. Martin turned around and pointed at Zhang as he overtook him. He continued cycling directly in front of Zhang and stopped in the middle of the lane. This forced Zhang to stop his lorry despite the moving traffic.
Martin alighted from his bicycle as Zhang turned his lorry right. He hit Zhang’s driver window and shouted vulgarities.
The Canadian also shouted at Zhang through the passenger window, prompting Zhang to make a sharp left turn with his lorry towards Martin. The latter picked up his bicycle and took a few steps backwards to avoid the lorry.
Martin placed his bicycle at a nearby grass patch while Zhang alighted from his lorry and followed Martin with an orange water flask in hand. Zhang stood in front of Martin and gesticulated in the direction of his lorry, but without warning, Martin punched the right side of Zhang’s mouth.
The force caused Zhang to fall backwards on the road of Jalan Eunos. Martin then retrieved his bicycle and continued cycling along Jalan Eunos in the direction of Still Road.
A resident living in the vicinity attended to Zhang, who moved to sit on the pavement as he felt dizzy.
Zhang was later found to have superficial facial lacerations. His medical expenses cost $126, which Zhang’s employer bore. Martin paid full compensation to Zhang’s employer on 21 April.
The acts were captured on Zhang’s in-car camera and by an eyewitness who recorded a video.
Martin had previously fractured his collarbone in a previous incident and thus felt aggrieved when Zhang drove close to him, said Martin’s lawyer Suppiah Thangaveloo. The lawyer highlighted three instances when Zhang came close to hitting Martin, including when Zhang reversed against Martin, and his sudden swing to the left.
Thangaveloo pointed out that his client did not actually confront Zhang any further and took his bicycle to walk off, but Zhang confronted him with a flask. Martin reacted instinctively with a punch before moving off, said the lawyer, who asked for a fine of between $3,000 and $4,000.
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