CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story wrongly stated that the jail term imposed was six months. The story has been updated to show the jail term was 26 weeks. We are sorry for the error.
SINGAPORE — A tourist who was drunk forcefully bit a policewoman’s arm for more than 10 seconds and did not let go despite the officer screaming at her in pain, a court heard.
The perpetrator, Katie Christina Rakich, later punched another policewoman’s ear at the lockup holding area of a police station.
At the State Courts on Monday (14 October), Rakich, a 27-year-old New Zealander, was jailed for 26 weeks after she pleaded guilty to one charge of causing hurt to deter a public servant.
On 15 June, Rakich came to Singapore and went to her 24-year-old sister’s apartment. She was “slightly inebriated” when she got there at about 7.30pm, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong.
Rakich then went out for dinner with her family, including her sister and the latter’s boyfriend. At dinner, Rakich drank some beer.
Later, the group went to another bar and Rakich had more alcoholic drinks. “By this time, the accused had become intoxicated,” said DPP Teong.
The group headed back to the apartment at about 2am on 16 June. Rakich then became upset about something her younger sister said. “She started to become rowdy, and began to yell at her family while messing up (her sister’s) apartment,” said the prosecutor.
Her family members tried to calm her down to no avail and her sister called the police just after 3am.
When officers arrived, they saw Rakich taking a glass of water on the table and throwing it at her sister. Her sister’s boyfriend deflected the glass with his palm and it shattered on the wall.
The officers decided to arrest Rakich, but she was uncooperative and had to be supported and pulled into a police vehicle.
She also behaved in a rowdy manner on the way to a police station, yelling profanities at her family and banging her head on the vehicle window.
When they arrived at Woodlands Police Division Headquarters, Rakich “started to become hysterical and insisted on her mobile phone being returned to her”, said DPP Teong.
A policewoman who wanted to bring her out of the vehicle, reached her arms out to support Rakich by her shoulders. But the perpetrator suddenly turned her head and bit into the officer’s forearm.
“The bite was very forceful and caused the victim great pain. The accused did not let go for over 10 seconds while the victim was screaming at her in pain,” said DPP Teong.
Another police officer intervened to get Rakich to loosen her bite and saw the latter’s mouth with blood on it.
“The accused then stared and smirked at the victim while the victim was still reeling from the pain,” said the prosecutor.
Rakich continued to be uncooperative and later punched another policewoman’s ear at the lockup holding area.
The policewoman who was bitten went to hospital with pain and swelling over her 4cm bite mark.
The wound was cleaned and she was given vaccines for tetanus and hepatitis. She also chose to start on antiretroviral treatment for possible exposure to HIV. The officer was discharged with painkillers and antibiotics, and got two days’ medical leave.
The maximum penalty for causing hurt to deter a public servant is up to seven years’ jail along with a fine and caning. Only male offenders below 50 are liable for caning.
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