He was drunk and felt an urgent need to urinate while he was in a bus, according to his lawyer. In desperation, he kicked and shattered the door of the SBS Transit bus.
As a result, Chua Hock Lee, 41, caused $1,298.76 in damages.
Chua, a Singaporean, was jailed for a week on Monday (15 October) after pleading guilty to one count of mischief causing damage amounting to more than $500. One count of using abusive words on a public service worker was taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Before committing the offence, Chua, a salesman, drank alcohol at a coffee shop in Bedok with his wife and friends on 8 June 2016. Shortly before midnight, he left for home with his wife and boarded a bus from Bedok Interchange.
About half an hour after midnight, as the bus was travelling on a single-lane road along Bedok North Street 3, bus driver Periamasamy Ponnusumy, 65, stopped his bus behind a taxi, which was picking up a passenger.
Chua hurled vulgarities at Periamasamy while gesticulating at him aggressively. Disturbed by Chua’s actions, commuters moved away from him.
After the taxi moved off, the bus remained stationary at the bus stop. Chua continued using profanities at Periamasamy and pressed the bus stopping button repeatedly.
Periamasamy explained to Chua that he had not been able to move the bus but Chua continued to swear at the bus driver.
Before Periamasamy could open the rear door of the bus, Chua kicked at it repeatedly and shattered a glass panel. Chua kicked again at the shattered door, dislodging more of the glass shards.
Alarmed, commuters urged Periamasamy to open the front door for them to alight. Chua then walked to the front of the bus with his wife and continued to swear at Periamasamy. He waved his fingers in the bus driver’s face before exiting the bus.
Periamasamy chased the couple for a short distance but the couple fled up the stairs to their flat at Bedok North Street 3.
The bus driver later reported the incident to his call centre. The incident was captured by CCTV footage in the bus.
Chua’s lawyer, Lee Wei Liang, said that his client took the bus after he failed to hail for a cab.
“Whilst on the bus, (Chua) felt nauseous and an urge to urinate. In his desperation, he kept pressing the bell of the bus to signal to the driver to stop. He had not realised that a taxi had stopped along the one-way road to pick up a passenger.
“In his intoxicated and uncomfortable state, (he) lost his temper momentarily.”
The lawyer said that Chua was unable to control his emotions whilst inebriated, adding that his client has fully paid SBS Transit for the damages caused.
The prosecution, however, said that a person who urgently needed to relieve himself would not have “burst into a tirade of profanity”.
“Moreover, (Chua) did not immediately exit to relieve himself, but still found the time and presence of mind to wave his fingers in the driver’s face and continue swearing at him,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jarret Huang.
The DPP pointed out that restitution was only made to SBS only after he was tracked down by the police, and not when Chua had sobered up and realised what he had done.
For committing mischief and causing loss or damage of $500 or more, Chua could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined.
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