Five teenagers in court over rooftop graffiti

(From left) David William Graaskov, Goh Rong Liang, Chay Nam Shen, Boaz Koh Wen Jie, and Reagan Tan Chang Zhi – all Singaporeans, aged 17 and sporting shaved heads – are being remanded as investigations continue. -- ST PH
(From left) David William Graaskov, Goh Rong Liang, Chay Nam Shen, Boaz Koh Wen Jie, and Reagan Tan Chang Zhi – all Singaporeans, aged 17 and sporting shaved heads – are being remanded as investigations continue. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIMST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Five teenagers nabbed by the police for allegedly vandalising a Toa Payoh Housing Board block were charged in court yesterday morning.

All Singaporeans and aged 17, they were arrested last Friday, two days after residents spotted a vandalised wall on the 22-storey Block 85A in Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

Red graffiti containing expletives seemingly directed at the People's Action Party (PAP) and the police had been spray-painted on a wall at the roof. By 11.30am, the graffiti was painted over by Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council.

The youths - Boaz Koh Wen Jie, Chay Nam Shen, David William Graaskov, Goh Rong Liang and Reagan Tan Chang Zhi - who arrived in court in casual wear with their heads shaven, face charges of vandalism with common intention.

They will be remanded for a week for further investigations at Tanglin Police Division. They are also being investigated for similar cases they might have been involved in.

Goh asked to call his family to inform them of his arrest because he was nabbed at his workplace. His request was denied and he was told the investigation officer would call his parents.

The next court hearing is set for Friday.

The penalty for vandalism with common intention is up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of $2,000, and at least three strokes of the cane.

Last month, four boys aged nine and 10 were arrested on suspicion of vandalism after profanities and a slogan linked to loan sharks were found spray-painted on property and cars in Punggol.

For juvenile offenders, who are those below 16, the courts can opt for rehabilitation, either through probation or detention in a home. Investigations in that case are ongoing.