Man who harassed American on MRT train in Singapore arrested

A man was seen harassing and slapping an American in an MRT train on Wednesday (19 April). (Photo” Screenshot of video posted on Facebook by Joe DeMarini)

The 70-year-old man who harassed and slapped an American on an MRT train earlier this week has been arrested by Singapore police for causing public nuisance and voluntarily causing hurt.

In a video posted on Thursday (20 April) by Joe DeMarini, the American who was harassed, the man claimed to be gay and taunted DeMarini repeatedly with offensive language. He also slapped DeMarini.

In an interview with Yahoo Singapore on Friday (21 April), DeMarini said he has received hundreds of encouraging messages from Singaporeans.   

He had initially boarded the train at Chinatown MRT station with a friend and they sat in the middle of a carriage.

Before the incident happened, DeMarini noticed the man was sitting on a priority seat and trying to talk to a woman seated next to him. After the woman moved away, the man walked towards DeMarini and stood in front of him. His first words to DeMarini were, “I like you”, according to the American.

The man was heard in the video telling DeMarini “I’m your friend, I want you to f**k me tonight”. The man accosted and touched DeMarini despite the American telling him not to do so. “Singapore is not like America, we can touch you,” the ma said.

After being told off by DeMarini, the man slapped the American, prompting another male commuter to intervene in an attempt to stop the harassment.

De Marini went to a police station to lodge a report about the incident on Friday.

Police said on Saturday (22 April) that a report was lodged on Friday at 3.59pm and they later established the man’s identity and arrested him along Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 on the same day at about 10pm.

Investigations are currently ongoing.

If convicted, the man faces a fine of up to $1,000 for causing public nuisance. For voluntarily causing hurt, he faces an imprisonment term of up to two years, or a fine of $5,000, or both.