SINGAPORE — A man who smashed his sauce bowl into a fellow customer’s face at popular hotpot restaurant Haidilao was fined $4,000 on Thursday (14 November).
Jason Esaias Gao Weijie, 34, was upset that the victim, 33-year-old Eugene Lee Wei Liang, had left his sauce bowl on the condiment counter as it was unhygienic.
Gao, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt to Lee at the Clarke Quay outlet of the restaurant, which is open from 10.30am to 6am daily.
On 12 January this year, at about 3.25am, Lee and his friend went for supper at Haidilao. He joined the queue at the condiment counter to pick up some sauces but ate from his bowl as he was queueing.
As Lee reached the front of the condiment queue, he placed his bowl on the counter while filling his sauce container. Gao, who was queuing behind Lee, became angry as he felt that the bowl on the counter was unhygienic. He told Lee to remove the bowl, but Lee replied that he would do so only after he finished filling his sauce container.
The two argued after Gao became agitated.
Minutes later, as Lee turned to leave with his sauce container and bowl, Gao grabbed his neck from behind and smashed his own sauce bowl into Lee’s face. He then punched Lee before being pulled away by onlookers.
His actions were caught by Haidilao’s CCTV camera.
Lee sought medical attention and was diagnosed with a 1.5cm facial laceration over his nose. He was given six days of medical leave.
Gao has since given $8,000 in compensation to Lee, who spent $2,420.71 on hospital expenses, optical lens, scar cream and scar treatment gel sheets.
Gao’s lawyer, Raphael Louis, said that his client made compensation at a “very early stage” and “way above” the fees incurred by Lee.
The lawyer pointed out that Gao had no violence-related antecedents and showed remorse before he was even charged. He urged the court to impose a $3,000 fine on Gao.
Gao could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.
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