Man charged for slapping and harassing another man on the MRT

Wan Ting Koh
Gan Thean Soo arriving at court on Friday, 17 November 2017. Photo: Koh Wan Ting/Yahoo News Singapore

A 71-year-old man who was seen in a viral video harassing and slapping another man on the MRT earlier this year was charged in the State Courts on Friday (17 November).

Gan Thean Soo was charged with one count each of public nuisance, voluntarily causing hurt and intentional harassment on 19 April between 8.30pm and 8.40pm.

Gan appeared in court on Friday wearing a long-sleeved maroon shirt and a black tie with red polka dots. He was represented by lawyer Philip Loh, who applied for an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) report in court.

Gan is accused of causing annoyance to people by raising his voice at American Joseph Flynn De Marini, slapping De Marini on the left side of his head and also harassing him by using abusive words.

In the viral video of the incident, Gan was seen taunting De Marini, 25, who was taking a North-East Line train towards Farrer Park MRT Station with a friend when the incident occurred.

In the video, which was taken by De Marini and later shared on his Facebook page, Gan claims to be gay and tells De Marini, “I’m your friend. I want you to f**k me tonight.” Gan also touches De Marini despite the younger man telling him not to. Gan is also heard telling De Marini, “Singapore is not like America, we can touch you.”

Despite bystanders intervening, Gan continues to heckle De Marini. He slaps the American after the latter tells him off. De Marini, who was here on a working holiday as a TV development producer at the time, made a police report two days after the incident. De Marini’s video has since racked up more than 1.5 million views.

Gan will be remanded for psychiatric observation at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks, and is expected to be back in court on 1 December.

If convicted of being a public nuisance, Gan can be fined up to $1,000. For voluntarily causing hurt, he could be jailed up to two years and/or fined a maximum of $5,000. For intentional harassment he could be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $5,000.

Related stories: