Man armed with knife arrested after locking himself with father and girlfriend in Jurong West flat

A 50-year-old man has been arrested at Blk 114 Ho Ching Road for criminal intimidation and suspected drug-related offences on 20 March 2018. Photo: Singapore Police Force

UPDATE: The police have issued a statement to clarify that the incident was not a hostage situation as reported by the media earlier. 

By Dhany Osman and Wong Casandra

A 50-year-old man who was armed with a knife was arrested for criminal intimidation and suspected drug-related offences on Tuesday evening (20 March) after locking himself in a flat in Jurong West with his father and girlfriend.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement that at about 1pm, the man refused to open the door upon seeing the police and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers at the flat at Blk 114 Ho Ching Road.

“The man had armed himself with a knife and threatened to harm the officers if they enter the unit. At about 5.50 pm, officers from the Special Operations Command gained entry into the unit and arrested the man,” the SPF said.

Photo (right): An elderly resident who is believed to be the father of a 50-year-old man who was arrested at Blk 114 Ho Ching Road on 20 March 2018 for criminal intimidation and drug-related offences. Photo: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore

The man’s father and girlfriend were not harmed during the incident. Yahoo News Singapore understands that the father is in his 80s while the girlfriend is in her 30s.

Substances believed to be controlled drugs and other drug paraphernalia were found in the flat, the statement added.

Yahoo News Singapore saw an officer at the scene who was carrying a plastic bag which contained what appeared to be an axe.

A police officer carrying away what appeared to be an axe in a plastic bag at Blk 114 Ho Ching Road. A 50-year-old man was arrested on 20 March 2018 for criminal intimidation and drug-related offences. Photo: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore

A neighbour, who declined to be named, told Yahoo News Singapore that she saw several police officers outside the man’s flat after she returned from a grocery trip at about 1.40pm.

The resident, who lived on the same floor as the man, said his unit was always closed during the daytime and that she has not met him in person before.

Photo of police officers at a flat at Blk 114 Ho Ching Road where they arrested a 50-year-old man on Tuesday (20 March): Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore

Yashoda Hosabettu, who lives opposite the block where the incident occurred, said, “I was napping and I suddenly heard shouting and a loud sound. I quickly came out and saw officers breaking down the door.”

The 43-year-old resident, who is a part-time worker in an engineering firm, added that she saw around seven officers going into the flat for about five minutes.

A woman and an elderly man who was sitting in a wheelchair were later escorted out of the flat, said Hosabettu.

An inflatable placed at the ground level of Blk 114 Ho Ching Road on 20 March 2018. Photo: Eyewitness Yashoda Hosabettu

Passer-by Derick Lim, a 29-year-old director of Cent and Dollar, arrived at the scene at about 6.08pm, minutes after reading a media report about the incident. Lim said he saw one Special Operations Command police vehicle, and more than ten police cars parked in the area.

Lim also saw a Singapore Civil Defence Force officer folding up an emergency inflatable and an ambulance that was about to leave the scene.

Another neighbour, who lives two units away from the man who was arrested, said the suspect’s father has stayed at the flat for over 26 years.

The neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Leong, said the elderly man was friendly. Leong added that she rarely interacted with the suspect apart from exchanging occasional greetings.

Other Singapore stories:

Drug abuser who held toddler hostage in Sembawang flat gets 5 years’ jail, 6 strokes

Man who set fire to Jurong West market sentenced to 11.5 years’ jail, caning