Drunk American who attacked Singapore immigration officer jailed

·2-min read
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — A drunk man who assaulted an immigration officer was jailed for three months at the State Courts on Wednesday (23 June).

Robert Joel Trussell, a 47-year-old American, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing hurt to a public servant to deter him from discharging his duties.

On 1 November last year, Trussell went to Lazarus Island with his wife and three friends at about 8.30am. The group ate and also drank alcohol there.

At about 6.30pm, Trussell got back to Marina South Pier via a ferry. As he was passing through customs clearance, a uniformed immigration officer noticed a bulge in his shorts pocket and asked him to stop for a check.

However, Trussell ignored the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer and continue walking towards Marina South Pier MRT Station. The Checkpoint Inspector chased after him and sought help from an auxiliary policewoman to stop the suspect.

As the two officers were trying to stop Trussell, he swung his arm towards the ICA officer and also pushed the auxiliary policewoman against a steel column.

Unable to stop the assailant, the two officers followed him as he walked towards the MRT station. Another ICA officer, a Staff Sergeant who was also wearing his uniform, and a Kusu Island guide working at Marina South Pier both noticed the commotion and went over to help the two officers.

Just as the culprit was about to go past a faregate at the MRT station, the Checkpoint Inspector pull Trussell's arm to stop him. When the Staff Sergeant also tried to stop him, Trussell pushed the latter on the shoulders using both hands, causing the officer to fall to the floor with a sprained wrist and a bruised shoulder blade and hip.

The Checkpoint Inspector, the auxiliary policewoman and the tour guide then pinned Trussell to the ground and called the police. The assailant continued to be uncooperative and struggled even after he was handcuffed.

The ICA Staff Sergeant was discharged from hospital with three days of medical leave.

For causing hurt to a public servant, Trussell could have been jailed for up to seven years and also fined and caned.

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