Man jailed 9 weeks for hurling ofo bike off block of flats

A man who threw an ofo bicycle from the 15th-floor corridor of a block of flats in Upper Boon Keng Road was jailed for nine weeks.
A man who threw an ofo bicycle from the 15th-floor corridor of a block of flats in Upper Boon Keng Road was jailed for nine weeks.PHOTO: ST FILE

A butcher who threw an ofo bicycle from the 15th-floor corridor of a block of flats in Upper Boon Keng Road on June 22 was jailed for nine weeks yesterday.

Selamat Mohamed Ali, 47, is the first person to be sentenced for throwing a shared bicycle from a height.

A second charge of dishonestly misappropriating the same $300 ofo bicycle was taken into consideration in sentencing.

The court heard that Madam Rajamanickam Jayalakshimi, 42, and her husband were sorting newspapers at the void deck of Block 11, Upper Boon Keng Road at 5.36am that day when she heard a loud crash about 5m behind them.

She turned to find a badly damaged yellow bicycle lying on the ground in front of the block.

The ofo bicycle was one of two that had been placed at the 15th-floor corridor by ofo employee Tan Han Tiong, who lives in the block, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwayne Lum.

 
 

Mr Tan's job is to collect bicycles that belong to the bike-sharing company across Singapore.

He could not return them that night because no vehicle was available at that point to tran- sport them.

Mr Tan last saw the two bicycles intact at the 15th-floor lift lobby the night before.

At around 5am on June 22, Selamat was on the way home after a drinking session at an Orchard Towers pub when he made a detour to the 15th-floor lift landing to rest. He lives in the block.

DPP Lum said that after spotting the bicycles, Selamat took one of them and threw it over the corridor parapet. He did this without checking if anyone was on the ground floor. He also did not check if the bicycle had landed on anyone or if anyone was hurt.

Police later found him sleeping at the 15th-floor lift lobby and arrested him.

CCTV footage obtained from a resident shows Selamat committing the rash act.

The case was the third last month in which people abused shared bicycles. On June 15, a 14-year-old allegedly threw an ofo bicycle down from the 30th floor of a Housing Board block in Whampoa.

Four days later, police arrested four teenagers involved in another case near Punggol MRT station and the bus interchange.

One of them was seen on video throwing a bicycle into a canal and riding another inside the station.

Yesterday, District Judge Adam Nakhoda agreed with the prosecutor that Selamat showed a blatant disregard for human life and safety. He also said that Selamat had "absolutely no reason" for acting in such a manner.

The maximum punishment for a rash act is six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline '9 weeks in jail for hurling ofo bike off block of flats'. Print Edition | Subscribe