Man jailed for breaking into vacant HDB flat and punching police officers

Nigel Chin
(AFP file photo)

A man who scratched and punched police officers multiple times while they were trying to arrest him for breaking into a vacant HDB flat was jailed 14 months.

Khazarruddin Basha Karimal Basa, 32, had pleaded guilty to two charges of voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant and one criminal trespass charge. Another charge of possessing a controlled drug was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that on 19 June, Khazarruddin broke into a flat at Blk 168 Boon Lay Drive as he wanted to steal a ceiling fan. The flat was vacant as the entire block was scheduled to be demolished.

HDB had erected metal gates at the staircases of the HDB block to prevent people from entering the block and also locked the units, but Khazarruddin managed to get in. He was spotted by an HDB officer, who locked the metal gate at the staircases to trap him before calling the police.

When police arrived at about 10.15am, they found the man hiding inside a locked bathroom in a seventh floor unit. While the two officers, Sergeants Gunaseelan Ravesadran, 30, and Chia Shun Zheng, 22, were discussing how to gain access into the bathroom, Khazarruddin opened the door and barged out.

Chia grabbed hold of Khazarruddin, who turned hostile and a violet struggle ensued. While this was happening, the HDB officer stepped out of the unit and closed the metal grille of the entrance to the unit.

Both Gunaseelan and Chia gave warnings to Khazarruddin, but he continued to resist arrest and scratched the former on his left arm. Gunaseelan then deployed his taser and discharged the weapon twice on Khazarruddin, who then fell to the floor. But he quickly got up and threw punches at Chia, with two landing on the officer’s face, Deputy Public Prosecutor Derek Ee said.

The officers then ran out of the unit for their safety. Khazarruddin tried chasing them, but got stuck at the metal grille. He was then handcuffed and placed under arrest. A straw of brownish granular/powdery substance containing at least 0.01 grams of diamorphine was later found on him.

Both officers sought medical attention at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and were found with multiple bruises. Gunaseelan was given two days of medical leave and Chia was given three days of medical leave.

For each charge of voluntarily causing hurt any public servant, Khazarruddin could have been jailed up to seven years, and fined or caned. For his criminal trespassing charge, he could have been jailed three months and fined up to $1,500.