Man, 33, arrested for assaulting taxi drivers at Queen's Street after failing to pay fare

The 33-year-old got into a taxi at 313@Somerset but did not provide the driver with a destination.
The 33-year-old got into a taxi at 313@Somerset but did not provide the driver with a destination. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday (April 26) morning after assaulting several taxi drivers in the vicinity of Queen's Street.

He was believed to have been drunk and had refused to pay the taxi fare after flagging a cab at Orchard Road shopping mall 313@Somerset.

Police said they were alerted to the incident at 12 Queen's Street at 4.57am. The man was arrested for voluntarily causing hurt.

Taxi driver Wang Hanwen, 54, told Lianhe Wanbao that the man did not provide a destination when he entered the vehicle, and only said "you just drive, I want to sleep".

Despite being repeatedly asked for an address, the man failed to respond and Mr Wang asked him to alight near the Singapore Art Museum.

"I did not expect him to alight and not pay for the cab fare," he said.

Mr Wang then got off and chased down the man, who allegedly aimed several punches at the driver. The man then walked into the nearby Hotel Royal but the manager on duty said that he was not a guest at the hotel.

After leaving the hotel, Mr Wang enlisted the help of two other taxi drivers waiting nearby.

One of them joined Mr Wang in chasing the man on foot but was punched several times in the face as they tried to restrain him.

"He was big and tall so we were unable to hold him back, and could only follow behind and ask a passer-by to call the police," Mr Wang added.

Mr Wang eventually sought the help of more taxi drivers, with a total of six of them surrounding the man before police officers arrived.

Police investigations are ongoing.