Man who took out and cocked replica gun in Yishun fined $1,000

File photo of a replica handgun (Getty Images)

He was a cosplay enthusiast who loved to play with replica guns, and he had 17 of them. While he was walking in an HDB estate in Yishun in 2015, he took out a replica handgun to cock it and this triggered a huge mobilisation of around 50 security and investigation officers to the scene.

On Tuesday (14 March), Timothy Tan Zhi Yu, 26, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) for his act. Tan, who was unrepresented, was fined $1,000 by District Judge Imran Hamid.

The court heard that Tan, who is currently unemployed, had bought the 17 replica guns from a shop in Funan Centre.

On 23 September 2015 at about 9 am, Tan was carrying a replica handgun in his haversack and walking near Block 314 Yishun Ring Road, Deputy Public Prosecutor  (DPP) Joshua Rene Jeyaraj said.

Tan was walking towards an open space car park when he took the replica handgun out from the bag and placed it in his pants. He took the weapon out again and cocked it while walking.

His action alarmed a passer-by, Michael John Sutton, who was walking behind Tan. Sutton called the police as he thought Tan was handling a real gun.

Shortly after the call, police despatched about 50 officers from the Special Operations Command, the Special Tactical and Rescue Team, and Criminal Investigation Department to the scene.

The police saw a male suspect holding a “black handgun” in the CCTV footage taken from a lift in Block 331 Yishun Ring Road, and later identified Tan. They arrested Tan at his home and confiscated his 17 replica guns.

When questioned by Judge Imran about the legality of replica guns, DPP Joshua said that the owning of such weapons requires a special permit. The shop that sold the weapons to Tan is currently being investigated, the prosecutor added.