E-scooter rider jailed 2 weeks for knocking down elderly man, then hurting woman in his escape

·Senior Reporter
A man riding an e-scooter at a pedestrian crossing at Orchard Road. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)
FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — An e-scooter rider who knocked down an elderly man while riding across a pedestrian bridge was jailed for two weeks on Thursday (18 July).

Victor Chin, 37, tried to flee as a crowd gathered around the fallen elderly man, and injured another woman in his escape, knocking her into the railing when she tried to stop him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing hurt through a rash act. A charge under the Active Mobility Act was withdrawn.

Ignored signs to dismount and push

On 9 June last year, Chin – who works as a driver – rode his e-scooter on the bridge connecting Clementi Ave 4 and Sunset Way across a canal at about 7.30am. The bridge, which was near Blk 308 Clementi Avenue 4, was filled with pedestrians.

Chin, dressed in a ski mask and helmet, ignored signs at the entrance of the bridge which directed individuals to dismount and push, as he rode his e-scooter onto the bridge.

As he attempted to squeeze through a gap between two pedestrians, the right handle of his e-scooter knocked the right elbow of 72-year-old Cheong Yik Choong, causing Cheong to fall.

Chin was immediately stopped by some other passers-by, and a crowd gathered around him as an onlooker called the police. However, Chin decided to make a run for it, and started his e-scooter to ride away.

Soh Zhi Wen, 29, was keeping an eye on Chin to prevent him from fleeing. As the e-scooter approached her direction, she tried to stop Chin by holding onto the e-scooter handle.

Chin ignored her and continued on his path, resulting in his handle knocking onto Soh’s right wrist. Soh stumbled and hit her face on the bridge railing.

Chin continued to flee towards Clementi Avenue 4, before heading to Clementi Road, where he reported for work.

Facebook post to identify rider

By the time the police arrived at the scene of the incident at 7.45pm, Soh had left the area.

Cheong’s daughter later posted a Facebook post about the incident, along with a photograph of Chin in his riding attire and asked for help online.

Chin was identified by netizens, who provided the information to Cheong’s daughter, and she passed on the information to the police. Chin surrendered himself to the police at 10.30pm on the same day.

Cheong suffered from superficial abrasions on his right elbow, while Soh did not seek medical assistance.

‘More concerned about making quick getaway’

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong sought two weeks’ jail for Chin.

“(Chin) was riding his e-scooter at a place where it was not meant to be used. This was despite there being a sign stating ‘dismount and push’ and yellow barriers at the entrance of the bridge, and him noticing that there were many pedestrians on the bridge,” said the DPP.

Chin had also tried to ride off despite seeing Soh trying to grab his handle.

“He was clearly more concerned about making a quick getaway than about the possible harm he could cause to Soh,” added DPP Ong.

Chin’s lawyer Barry Delaney sought a fine, saying that his client’s culpability was low, given that no injury was recorded for Soh. Chin had also voluntarily paid for Cheong’s medical fees.

For committing a rash act, Chin could have been jailed up to a year, or fined up to $5,000, or both.

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