SINGAPORE — In an attempt to flee a Traffic Police officer who stopped him for a check, a man drove off while the officer was still holding onto him through an open door of his vehicle.
Azhar Amin then dragged Staff Sergeant Noor Hakim Mohamed 30 to 40 metres before the officer fell onto the middle of the road.
Hakim ended up sustaining a fracture to his ankle in the 2018 incident.
On Thursday (21 January), Azhar was jailed for nine months and disqualified from driving for three years on one count of rash act causing grievous hurt, which he pleaded guilty to.
In addition, Azhar pleaded guilty to nine other charges, including providing false information to a public servant, and was also convicted on one charge of trafficking nine packets which contained at least 114.67g of methamphetamine in 2018. The other charges are for consuming and possessing drugs, as well as for failing to report for urine tests.
Another four charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing, these are drugs-related and for committing a rash act which endangered the personal safety of a woman who was trying to help Hakim restrain Azhar.
In total, Azhar was given a jail sentence of 10 years and 1 month, along with 10 strokes of the cane.
At the time of the incident with Hakim, Azhar was wanted by the Central Narcotics Bureau for failing to report for urine tests on 21 occasions while subjected to a supervision order between 17 December 2016 and 16 December 2018.
On 12 November 2018, Hakim was on patrol duty in uniform when he noticed Azhar driving a car travelling along Geylang Road towards Kallang Road with his hand holding onto a phone.
Hakim directed Azhar to stop by the side of the road. Azhar complied and stopped his car just after Lorong 18 Geylang. He followed Hakim’s instructions to step out of the vehicle but claimed he did not have any identification documents with him.
Hakim then instructed Azhar to sit in the backseat of the car. At the time, the car’s engine was turned off, but the keys were still in the ignition.
In response to Hakim’s request for his personal details, Azhar claimed that his name was “Muhd Nazri Taib” and provided an NRIC number. However, when asked to spell out “Muhd” in full, Azhar became agitated and spelt it out as “Muhammad”. He also gave a fake address.
After screening the NRIC, Hakim found that the person matching the NRIC was called Mohamed Nazri Bin Taib. It was not revealed how Hakim was in possession of the NRIC. The officer then called for reinforcements.
Upon hearing the officer’s call, Azhar squeezed his body in between the two front seats of the car into the driver’s seat and started the engine. Hakim tried to stop him by pulling him. A female passerby who witnessed the exchange also began pulling Azhar from the passenger’s side of the car.
Even as he was being pulled, Azhar managed to step on the accelerator, with both the woman and Hakim hanging on. CCTV footage of the incident shows the woman falling off the car shortly after. Hakim, who was still holding onto Azhar through the open door, hung on for 30 to 40m before he was flung onto the middle of the four-lane road. Hakim was later seen getting to his feet and making his way to safety.
Hakim was conveyed by ambulance to a hospital and he was later found to have a right ankle fracture. He was treated and given 14 days of hospitalisation leave.
A party of CNB officers arrested Azhar at Cherryloft Resorts the next day. The officers also seized drug-taking utensils and methamphetamine at the chalet.
Hakim had previously been convicted on 10 September 2004 and 26 February 2014 for consuming drugs and sentenced to 18 months and three years’ jail respectively. He had also been jailed for violence and property-related offences in 2014.
Mitigating for himself, Azhar asked for the court to run his other jail terms concurrently with his trafficking charge.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Wei Liang pointed out that Hakim had suffered a foot fracture, but noted that the officer did not sustain any lasting damage.
Nonetheless, the DPP added that the potential harm that could have resulted was high as the officer was dragged along for some distance and flung into the middle of the road, and he was fortunate that no other vehicle had collided into him.
For rash act causing grievous hurt, Azhar could have been jailed up to four years, or fined up to $10,000 or both.
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